Book Title: I Am Not A Label (available here)
Author: Cerrie Burnell
Illustrator: Lauren Baldo
Publisher: Wide Eyed Editions
Publication Date: September 2020
Most Suitable For: KS2
Reviewed By: Hayley Warner
This book certainly celebrates diversity and should, without a doubt, have a place in every primary school. With the current push for more diverse and inclusive reading texts, this non-fiction book certainly answers the call, and in the most fabulous way.
Though only 59 pages long, I Am Not A Label takes readers on a journey through the book, celebrating people from all over the world, from all walks of history and all with a variety of different skill sets, who have all been deemed ‘different’ by society.
The book has all the typical features of a non-fiction text (index and glossary terms) but one of the features that I really liked was the introduction from the author, Cerrie Burnell. She tells the reader exactly why she wanted to make a book like this and shares her own experience of disability. Burnell also refers to the fact that when she was a child, there were not enough books with a character with a disability. This is poignant, as it is so important for all children to see themselves in books and to celebrate what makes them unique and individual.
Quoting Burnell’s own words, this is an anthology of tales about disabled artists, athletes, activists, thinkers, writers, performers and dreamers. Some examples include Stephen Hawking, Stevie Wonder and Stella Young. Most have a double page spread, with bright and colourful illustrations that really celebrate the individual from illustrator Lauren Baldo. From a teaching point of view, because there is a real breadth of people included, I could use this book to support reading and understanding in music, art, history and geography to name but a few.
I think this book could do wonders for children’s self-esteem and self- belief. I look forward to sharing this book with my Year 6 class.
Many thanks to the publisher for sending us a review copy of this book and to our Review Panel member for reviewing it.
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