Five diverse, eco-friendly & inclusive superhero books
Children love superheroes, and it’s guaranteed that at some stage your child is going to get involved in superhero play, after all becoming someone who can do everything is a tantalising proposition when you’re tiny.
Until recently, most superheroes were generic males, nerdy by day and surprisingly suave and super by night with epic strength, spider web powers and underground magic man-caves. Happily these types of tales have now begun evolving to reflect our more diverse and wonderful world. Here’s five of our current favourites.
And, if you want to learn more about why and how to help your children enjoy positive superhero play, see our grown up book pick at the bottom of the page.
by Timothy Knapman and Joe Berger
Age suitability 3-6
She might not lift buildings or go whooshing through the sky, but Supergran can plan super sleepovers, tell super funny stories and even put together super disguises. This gran really does have super powers!
Why we like it
The illustrations are incredible, and it is lovely getting an opportunity to recognise the super human work that so many grandparents do with our children. The icing on this particular cake, is that each Nosy Crow paperback picture book comes with a free audio reading, complete with sound effects and original music. Just scan the QR code with your smartphone or tablet and hear the story. These are clearly some very clever book people.
How to be a #2 minute superhero by Martin Dorey
Kids Fight Plastic
Age suitability: 7-12
Who doesn’t want their child to learn about the environment? Although this book is for slightly older children, it’s full of fun tasks and information to help your little ones grow up to be more conscious consumers, in caring for their planet.
Why we like it: Not just good for raising eco-friendly kids, for every book sold, the publisher will donate 20p to the beach clean campaign. ( beachclean.net)
Xanders cerebal palsy superpowers
by Lori Leigh Yarborough
Age suitability: 3-7
When author Lori Leigh Yarborough’s son Nathan was diagnosed with autism she struggled to find positive role models for him. Lucky for us, because that prompted her to create the 139 inspired series which includes Nathan’s Autism Spectrum Superpowers, Hannah’s Down Syndrome Superpowers, and this book, Xander's Cerebral Palsy Superpowers. Each story in the series helps all children and adults understand differences as well as celebrating them for example, Xander has a 'Persistent Positive Attitude’, his very own ‘Superhero Equipment’ and of course his ‘Special Forces Team of therapists’.
Why we love it: Not all children are the same, and yet when they seek out role models that reflect themselves in stories, for many kids the choice is not there. Finally, this series gives some of those children the chance to see themselves as the heroes they are. These books are not just for parents or kids with this special powers as the 139 series also include a Q & A section for all those funny little questions all children ask when you least expect them to, allowing for children and adults alike to learn about being different.
Nina the Neighbourhood Ninja by
Age suitability: 3-7
Nina is a very local superhero, no saving the world, or fighting evil, she is however always ready to help those in need which is a lovely route into celebrating all the qualities we want to nurture in our children. Nina shows us that real girl power is being kind, strong, brave and smart.
Why we like it: This book is about being super in the everyday sense which makes it completely accessible to every child. It’s also a wonderful tool for teaching empathy which can sometimes be a challenge in very young children.
Calling All Superheroes
Age suitability: grown ups
If you want to know more about why children are drawn to superhero play, and how to help guide them to recognise the heroic abilities within themselves, this is the book for you. It also includes the sticky areas that many parents find hard to come to terms with in superhero play like killing, weapons, gender related issues and aggressive play.