Home and belonging

Children dressed up at carnival, from Errol Lloyd's Nini at Carnival

Go deeper: Home, family and belonging in children's books

Article by:
Patrice Lawrence, Lucy Pearson

Where do you belong? Where, or who, is your home and family? Discover stories that explore belonging, and not belonging, and those that help children grapple with their identity.

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Paper dolls in an illustration of a kitchen

Themed book list: Home and belonging

Explore a selection of children’s books including Starring Tracy Beaker, So Much, Coming to England, Azzi in Between and Clarice Bean.

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Cartoon illustration of Omar in a stripy tshirt, from the front cover of Planet Omar, with doodles in background

The Book of Me

What if you were the main character in a story? What would the world of your story look like? What would happen?

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Portrait of Sean, a Black British boy, riding a new red bike. Illustrated by Errol Lloyd for Sean's New Bike

Go deeper: Reflecting on Black presence in children’s books

Article by:
Farrah Serroukh, Karen Sands O'Connor

The characters that we meet in children's books shape the way that we see ourselves and our community around us. Take a look at the history of Black British representation.

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Paper-cut out illustration of Mulan riding on a horse and a little girl looking up at her

Go deeper: Journeys in children's books

Article by:
Emily Murphy, Yu Rong (in consultation with)

One of the most wonderful things about books is their ability to transport us to different worlds, times and places. But why are journeys so important to stories?

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Iluustration of a shadowy figure lifting up two people

Themed book list: Journeys

Journeys can take many different forms. Explore children's literature from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit and Journey to Jo’burg.

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Further themes

All activities

Get creative with activities for children of all ages. Invent your own superhero, make a pop-up book and much more.

Animals that talk

From fantastical medieval beasts to Winnie the Pooh and Varjak Paw, meet the wonderful creatures that bring children’s books to life.

Behaving and misbehaving

From strict behaviour manuals to rebellious rule-breakers, explore the morals and mischief at the heart of children’s books.

Big and small

From books that fit in the palm of your hand to Roald Dahl’s Big Friendly Giant, find out how children’s writing plays with ideas of size and scale.

Changing the world

From campaigns against slavery to climate change resistance, discover the power of children’s books to fight for a better world.

Fairy tales and folktales

From Red Riding Hood to Hua Mulan, from Anancy to Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes, read ancient stories and playful new tales from around the world.

Fear

Face your fears by exploring the most spine-tingling stories, from dark and enchanting fairy tales to Coraline and Haunted House.

Food

From Alice in Wonderland’s bottles to baby bear’s perfect porridge, discover the temptations of food in children’s books.

Home and belonging

How do children’s books explore questions of home, family and belonging? Delve into books by Jacqueline Wilson, Errol Lloyd and many more.

Interviews

Learn the secrets of writers and artists from Jacqueline Wilson to Zanib Mian, with these exclusive interviews and tips for budding authors.

Journeys

Set off on magical journeys or real voyages of migration, from Gulliver’s Travels and Treasure Island to Sarah Garland’s Azzi in Between.

Go deeper

Explore our themes in more detail and find more fascinating facts in these illustrated articles by scholars and children’s authors.

Magic and fantasy

Free your imagination with tales of mystery and magic, from medieval phoenixes to Philip Pullman’s Northern Lights.

Non-fiction

Find out how children’s books use funny jokes, strange secrets and pictures to give you information about people, places, science and history.

Poetry, nursery rhymes and wordplay

From rude and ridiculous rhymes to inspiring verses and poems, explore centuries of nonsense, poetry and wordplay for children.

Pop-up and moveable books

From the earliest noisy books to brilliant modern pop-ups, find out how pages spring to life at the pull of a flap or tab.

School stories and reading tools

From 2,000-year-old homework to the latest classroom antics, discover books full of brainboxes, weird teachers and troublemakers.