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Topic: Diverse & Inclusive Books for KS1

Reflecting Realities Booklist

In November 2023, the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE) released the 6th annual Reflecting Realities Survey of Ethnic Representation within UK Children’s Literature. The findings show that 30% of children’s books published in 2022 feature a racially minoritised character, which marks a significant increase from the 4% first reported in 2017. The published report can be viewed here or you can read a summary of the Reflecting Realities 2023 Report on our blog

This year’s report pays particular attention to the range and breadth of genres that have seen minoritised characters become a meaningful part of the literary mainstream. From Fantasy and Historical to Comedy, the report highlights and celebrates stories that include racially minoritised characters in multi-dimensional and nuanced ways. The report names quite a number of texts that exemplify the “quality of presence they hope to encounter in all representative books.”

Titles highlighted in this year’s report include a number that the BooksForTopics community will recognise from our Diverse Children’s Book Lists, as well as our Year Group Recommended Reads and Curriculum Booklists, such as The Lizzie and Belle Mysteries: Drama and Danger, India Incredible India, Serena Patel’s Picture Perfect, Planet Omar and Joseph Coelho’s Our Tower.

This booklist features many of the highlighted books included in this year’s Reflecting Realities report.



In this international bestseller from the critically acclaimed Little People, BIG DREAMS series, discover the life of Frida Kahlo, the world-renowned painter.

When Frida was a teenager, a terrible road accident changed her life forever. Unable to walk, she began painting from her bed. Her self-portraits, which show her pain and grief, but also her passion for life and instinct for survival, have made her one of the most famous artists of the twentieth century. This moving book features stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back , including a biographical timeline with historical photos and a detailed profile of the artist’s life.

Best Diverse Children’s Books for Ages 5-7

Our experts have selected a list of recommended diverse and inclusive books for children in Year 1 and Year 2 (KS1), which feature characters that are traditionally under-represented in children’s books.

This list of the best diverse books for children in Key Stage 1 includes books with minority ethnic main characters, books that celebrate difference and books with representations of cultural diversity, different types of families, physical disabilities, visual impairment and neurodiversity. 

The list includes the story of Faizah as she witnesses her older sister Asiya’s first day of hijab in The Proudest Blue and the celebration of traditional Traveller virtues in Polonius the Pit Pony, as well as the tale of Faruq’s discovery of Caribbean ingredients in Faruq and the Wiri Wiri and Amazing Joe’s story exploring how to respond to disability in You’re So Amazing.

The books selected are chosen to represent a diversity of cultures and experiences that reflect the realities of life for children in modern-day UK classrooms.

You can find Diverse & Inclusive children’s book lists for other primary year groups here:


Schools can purchase full packs of our diverse book lists via Peters.


At just 8 years old, it was clear that Steveland Judkins was going to be a star. Renamed Stevie Wonder for his astonishing talent on the piano and other instruments, he wrote and performed some of the biggest hits of the 1970s. Stevie became known for his inventiveness, his soulful voice and the social commentary in his lyrics. He is a UN Messenger of Peace and remains one of the music world’s most iconic figures. This inspiring book features stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back , including a biographical timeline with historical photos and a detailed profile of the great musician’s life.

Chapter book

The first book in a hilarious, jam-packed new adventure series starring Scooter the inventor and his top secret alien sidekick.

Scooter McLay’s cerebral palsy affects how quickly he can move his body, but his hyper-creative brain is a constant fizz of brilliant ideas. He spends every day inventing top secret recipes and machines for his family’s jam factory. There’s just one thing missing … a pet, to share it all with. Or better still, a friend. When a tiny alien named Fizzbee crashes through the factory window, she might just be the answer. Now it’s all hands on deck, as they team up to save the factory from dastardly neighbour Daffy Dodgy.


A powerfully told story from Clare Helen Welsh and Asa Gilland that explores the emotions we feel when someone we love is battling a serious illness.

At first, nobody knew. It seemed as if today would be like yesterday forever, the perfect day to build a shelter in the woods. Then, my sister changed – she was more tired than before. More quiet. When we learn that she is sick, really sick, it feels as though a storm has engulfed our whole family. But, we will ride out this storm. And though today may be different from yesterday, today is the perfect day to build a shelter, together.

A heartwarming book that sensitively tackles the tough subject of illness with authentic and empathetic tenderness. Much like Michael Rosen’s Sad Book , A Shelter for Sadness or The Building Boy , The Perfect Shelter offers children a way to understand and articulate complex, often overwhelming, emotions.


Max is mad about sport. As he gets up, has breakfast and heads off to school, he is dreaming of competing in world class sporting events. In his real day, he and his class win the school football match and, in his imagination, he and his friends are winning the World Cup. This is a lively and fun approach to sport, and a very inclusive picture book showing disabled children and children without disabilities enjoying different sports together in a natural way. The sports include football, rugby, athletics, cricket, diving, discus throwing and cycling.


From the author of Bumblebear, comes a new heroine for our times. Introducing: Billy!

Whilst on a lovely walk in the woods, Billy and her trusty sidekick Fatcat hear a terrible rumble… a terrible rumble coming from a Terrible Beast …

He’s making a Terrible Soup out of all of Billy and Fatcat’s friends!

Luckily, our brave heroine Billy has a trick or two up her sleeve (or in her hair)…

Join Billy on her mission to defeat the Terrible Beast (and save those adorable little bunny rabbits too).


When Polonius the pit pony escapes from the coal mine he’s worked in all his life, he joins a family of Travellers. Although he enjoys the freedom and the fresh air that their lifestyle offers, he wishes he could give something back to the family in return.

When the chance arrives for him to do something to help, he rises to the challenge, and uses his intelligence and skills to save the day.

Based on true events and retold by a master of the oral tradition, this story bears witness to the Traveller values of independence, initiative, courage and hard work.


A celebration of the highs and lows of having a much loved but differently abled brother or sister. This appealing brother and sister duo spend a lot of their day together, eating meals, going to school and playing. But life with an autistic sibling is not always easy. Through the eyes of the brother, we find out how they are both very different, but also very similar in other ways, and come what may they have lots of fun together and love each other just the same. This is a touching book that will strike a chord with every family with siblings, especially where one is differently abled. Short listed for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize.

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