Embracing a diverse and inclusive world through books

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As parents, one of the most important lessons we teach our children is kindness. We try to explain that people may look or appear different, but we are all human beings at heart. Indeed, these differences can make us special and unique, as they bring a different perspective to the world. Embracing differences and celebrating people’s uniqueness promotes peace and social harmony; if we don’t do this, the consequences can be very harmful to societies. That’s why it is so essential for children to learn about diversity and inclusion from a young age. 

If we impart these lessons through stories, I believe they stay with children for life. It’s important to help them imagine the world we want to create through books. Children already face so many challenges about identity and belonging in their formative years. They struggle with many questions about themselves and others, and now, with the dominance of social media in our lives, there is even greater pressure on them.

Generally, social media bombards our children with images of what a perfect person or a perfect life should look like. But there is little on social media that teaches our kids how an amazing human being thinks and acts. People are made up of all shapes and colors, and no one should be judged or excluded because they have a disability or are different. We need to help our children understand from a young age, the importance of being inclusive, and help them connect with the true beauty of a diverse world.

Children’s books should act ‘as mirrors and as windows’, as Dr Rudine Sims Bishop puts it. It’s vital that children feel their lives matter, and that’s why they must be represented in the stories they read. But, it’s equally crucial that they can peek into other people’s lives and value them for what they are. And, during this challenging period in human history, it’s even more important that we understand one another and show kindness to each other. This is more than counteracting the effects of social media, it’s about creating a gentler world full of compassion for our fellow humans.

We have learned so many lessons from the current covid pandemic. One of them is the importance of empathy towards one another. When the world faces a crisis of such magnitude, we instinctively forget about our race, gender, ideological backgrounds, and all our differences. Instead, we focus on helping each other survive the crisis because we are all humans. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we continuously support, understand, and respect each other with or without a global crisis?

I am proud to say that Kalimat is contributing to this global awareness effort. We have published some fantastic books covering subjects as physical disability, illness, grief, autism, hearing and visual impairment, Down’s syndrome, and albinism. They are beautiful stories that all children can relate to.

I have handpicked ten of my favorite books that I believe will help open your children’s eyes to the lives of others. I think these stories will stay with your children forever.

I hope these stories will help you have conversations with your children about the beauty of our diverse world and the importance of making everyone feel that they are loved and accepted. You can click the links below to order these books.




Boo and Luna are good friends. They decide to go on a fishing trip one day. During their adventure, they learn values such as sharing, helping one another, and accepting each other. They end up spending a lovely day together. The story highlights the importance of real friendship, even between a monster-looking creature and a little girl.



This book recently received a prize at IBBY (The International Board on Books for Young People) which took place in Moscow this year. It is a story about difference, self-love and respect. Through metaphors and poetic imagery, we discover the dream of an albino girl. This little girl is physically different than the children around her but she’s also different in her passion to reach and obtain the most beautiful things in the world. We learn, at the end of the story, that the pleasure of beauty is richer when shared with others.

The Melody of the Staff


This story is about Ahmed, a little boy who is visually impaired and so uses a staff to help him. On his birthday Ahmed receives many presents but he doesn’t like them because they are not as good as his staff which understands him and flies him off to a beautiful fantasy world. It takes him to different places and on various adventures. This story help children find joy and peace through encouraging them not to give in to disability and use things they love and enjoy.

An Elephant, a Giraffe or a Stork?


This story centers on a girl who thinks she cannot climb a tree anymore since she began to use braces and crutches to help her walk. She decides to bring one of the following to help her climb the tree: an elephant, a giraffe or a stork. But while thinking, she finds herself on top of the tree describing what she feels and sees. This story helps children in need believe in themselves and that with strong will, they can achieve everything without the help of others.



Younis is a child with Down’s syndrome. He likes to practice his favorite hobby of cooking. He sticks a drawing of a blue bird on all his desserts as his own trademark. He then places a dessert on all the doorsteps in the village as a gift to the children. One day, Younis gets sick, and the desserts disappear. The children discover the secret of the blue bird and they all come to check on him. Younis' ambition grows and he now has the famous Blue Bird Bakery! A warm story that encourages getting to know people from the inside and not letting physical appearances stand in the way; it encourages the spreading of love and kindness between people.



Amer loves the night and finds serenity in its beautiful black color. The night is silent; there is no one, but him and his toys. When it is daytime, Amer’s life changes. Lights and sounds bother him, but Amer has a great idea in order to return to the night. This story takes us into the world of an autistic child and the life he enjoys. What do autistic children like? Dislike? Let’s accept that every person has the right to live the life they want, as long as it harms no one in the process.

Green Braids


Amal is a simple girl whose hair has completely fallen out. Her head becomes shiny like silver and looks strange to people. Amal works with her mother selling plants and herbs, and in her free time, she draws heads with hair and other heads with no hair at all. Due to her unique head, she goes through some interesting adventures. Amal’s hair grows back as she loves selling flowers.  This book shows us that love is a cure even for those who suffer from cancer as it encourages children to care for people who suffer from difficult diseases because it may help them as they go through a tough health crisis.

Adel's Colored Birds


Adel loves making birds from colored paper. When he starts making them, he is not distracted by sound and he continues until he sees a red light by the door of his room, signaling food is ready. As soon as Adel walks into the dining room, the reader discovers that Adel is deaf, as he starts communicating with his family using sign language and lip reading. The story teaches children that hearing loss does not hinder communication and that deaf people can live normal lives and practice their hobbies too.

I Love my World


The narrator in this story tells us about his silent world. He explains that he sometimes feels lonely and excluded but that there are many things that he enjoys in his world. He describes his most joyful moments with his cat, parents, and friends. I Love My World is an intimate story introducing the experience of hearing impairment through a warm style of writing and illustrations.


Sunflower is not a flower; he is a blind young child who lives in an overlooked place on a forgotten street where the sun rarely shines. Others called him homeless; I named him Sunflower. He achieves his dream of following the light which leads him to fulfil his old neighbor’s dream as well as his and many others’. It is a family story about determination and abandoned people. It is a story about the act of giving that springs from the soul. It makes us aware of the importance of humans wherever they are, no matter how poor and sad they might be. Every human has a dream state that pursues light. Sun-like dreams that sparkle the most are the ones that shine on all, acknowledge, and sense the dreams of others.


2 years ago
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