KS1/2 : Lit in Colour

20 October 2020

Books create belonging. They help us see each other and understand each other. They shine a light on the world. It’s vital that the books we read in our formative years reflect the rich diversity of the society we live in. We hope this page helps you find stories by writers and illustrators of colour, and free resources that can bring their stories to life for your pupils; as Vashti Harrison says, ‘To be able to see yourself in someone else’s story can be life-changing’.

Brilliant book listsL

Explore our fantastic collection of book lists highlighting books featuring Black characters, characters of dual heritage and South Asian characters. There's titles like Sulwe by Lupita Nyong’o, a powerful, moving picture book about colourism, self-esteem, and learning that true beauty comes from within; Hair Love by Matthew Cherry and Vashti Harrison, a wonderful story about a little girl with hair that has an mind of it's own; How High the Moon by Karyn Parsons, a moving historical novel set in 1940s segregated America centred on a coming of age story and Little Badman and the Invasion of the Killer Aunties by Humza Arshad and Henry White a laugh-out-loud, funny tale with a wannabe rapper at it's heart.  Entertaining, empowering and full of diverse characters, the books on these lists bring to life a whole host of amazing role models.

Puffin’s parent company Penguin have created a publisher agnostic list of 100 titles to make the work of writers of colour more visible. It will be updated annually bringing even more new and classic titles to the list and you can download the primary reading list here .

Key Stage 1 Inspo Packs

Start the conversation around big topics using picture books as inspiration. What's in outer space? How long should we spend on our phones? Find out with Nathan Bryon and Dapo Adeola's Look Up! What does it really mean to be extra-ordinary? Explore this and more with Rashmi Sirdeshpande's How to be Extraordinary! Or use this template to inspire children to draw their own little leader!

Key Stage 2 Bumper Book Packs

For inspiring activities and lesson plans, look no further than our teaching resources. With fun activities and lesson plans, children will discover more about the incredible people who have achieved extraordinary things throughout history:

Storytime and How-To Videos

Get writing inspiration from our videos featuring incredible authors and illustrators.  Write a poem with Rashmi Sirdeshpande or listen to Yassmin Abdel-Magied read her story Kandaka  about a magical Jalabeeya - then challenge children to find out more about their family history.

Find out more about Lit in Colour

Puffin’s parent company Penguin, the UK’s largest book publisher, has joined forces with The Runnymede Trust to explore how to make the teaching and learning of English Literature in UK schools more inclusive, with an emphasis on increasing students’ access to more books by writers of colour and those from minority ethnic backgrounds. To find out more about Lit in Colour and  to receive more information, including access to future free book donations and teaching resources visit www.penguin.co.uk/litincolour

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