My Dad The Hero by Stella Gurney and Katharine McEwen

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Another Walker Books story, this time exploring the difficult theme of how to fit in at school when your family is different. Tariq’s dad speaks English with a Bengali accent, and some of his classmates tease Tariq. Then the teacher arranges for all the parents to come and tell the class about different jobs (what a great idea!) and Tariq’s dad is the first up. Tariq doesn’t give his dad the letter, in hope of avoiding more teasing, but he feels ashamed that he’s embarrassed by his own beloved dad. Luckily his dad finds the letter in the dustbin, magically understands the whole problem, and prepares an amazing puppet show all about being a taxi driver, complete with sweets made by Tariq’s mum. The class loves it and nobody teases Tariq any more. If it it all sounds too easy to those of us who recall school as a much more dog-eat-dog kind of place, well, all I can say is, maybe nowadays it is all much more inclusive and tolerant. Let’s hope so.

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