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Top 5 books to inspire kids into action

From cooking to acting on climate change Susan Hayes and Penelope Arlon pick their best books to inspire children into action

Kids haven’t had it easy during the pandemic. Confined to their homes, they haven’t been able to see their friends, play outdoors or even go to school.

But that hasn’t stopped many extraordinary young people from making their voices heard, such as 10-year-old Annie Jones from Oxford, who became a Big Issue cover star in January after urging politicians to do more on climate change and poverty.

Here, Susan Hayes and Penelope Arlon pick their best books to inspire children into action. Whether it is on climate changing, cooking, or acting – there’s something in this list for every type of child.

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Tilly’s Kitchen Takeover by Matilda Ramsay

The great thing about this cookbook is that it’s written by, and for, a child. Matilda Ramsay (inspired by her father, Gordon) offers kid-friendly, healthy recipes with such fully explained step-by-steps and patient preparation tips that a child needs little overseeing. The recipes are delicious too!

Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

If you want kids to play creatively, develop their imaginations, and conjure up their own magical worlds, this beautiful picture book is a great place to start. It can also help children to cope with feelings of helplessness and anger.

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Wood by Andy Goldsworthy

Art isn’t just about daubing a paintbrush. Andy Goldsworthy’s book will get kids making art with a whole host of found, natural materials. Goldsworthy’s gorgeous pieces are a wonderful inspiration to get all kids making art while appreciating the natural world.

No One Is Too Small To Make A Difference by Greta Thunberg

We all need to do something about climate change, and our kids are no exception. Greta’s fiery words, driven determination and down-to-earth thinking will empower even the youngest to get fired up, make their voices be heard, and literally help save the world.

Bug Book by Nick Baker

The best way to get kids noticing nature around them is to show them the zoo on their doorstep. This book teaches children how to capture and study bugs responsibly, and is packed with incredible facts and experiments.

The Extraordinary Book That Eats Itself by Susan Hayes and Penny Arlon, illustrated by Pintachan, is out now (Red Shed, £8.99)

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