Looking for books that celebrate inclusion? WeNeedDiverseBooks.org is a wonderful resource.
Click here to check it out.
And here's another excellent list from Scott Woods: 28 Black Picture Books That Aren’t About Boycotts, Buses or Basketball
In March of 2016 our Western Washington chapter of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators held a panel discussion on diversity in children's literature.
Here is a list of books and resources that promote diversity, provided by our panel:
Philip Lee's List:
FROM READERS TO EATERS:
FROM LEE & LOW:
Kelly Jones' List:
Liz Wong's List:
A great discussion of how to find and work with beta readers that is full of great resources.
Ann Crewdson's List:
Toddler Story Time Books/Avg. Word Count = 100-300.
Preschool Story Time Books/Avg. Word Count = 500-600.
Books with Multiple Shelving Locations & Dimensions:
World Language or Interlingual Books:
80% of 2014’s Most Reported Banned Books Were Diverse (ALA’s OIF) :
My Favorite Diverse Books:
KCLS Trends: The circ. rate of African American children’s books has increased by 23% fr.2013-2015. African Folk & Fairy Tale books were up by 15% as well. There are more Animal books in our story time collection (6%) than diverse books (approx.1.7%). The average copyright of our story time collection is 1998 which makes it around 18 y.o. Our library system is not alone.
Definition: Cultural authenticity is not just accuracy or the avoidance of stereotypes, but involves cultural values, facts, and attitudes that members of the culture as a whole consider worthy of acceptance and belief (Mo, W. & Shen, W, 1997)
Please consult cultural “insiders” to validate and fact check your draft. An excellent paper that studied stereotypes is cited below. (Note the absence of LGBTQ and disability groups in this study).
Yoo-Lee, E., Fowler, L., Adkins, D., Kim, K.-S., & Davis, H. (2014). Evaluating cultural authenticity in multicultural picture books: A collaborative analysis for diversity education. Library Quarterly, 84 (3), 1-23.
We need diverse books!
Philip Lee is the co-founder and publisher of READERS to EATERS, which launched its publishing program in 2012 with a mission to promote food literacy. He also co-founded and was the publisher of Lee & Low Books in New York, with a focus on publishing multicultural literature.
Kelly Jones is a writer and former bookseller and children’s librarian. Her debut novel Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer, about twelve-year-old Sophie and her magical chickens, was illustrated by Katie Kath and published by Knopf Books For Young Readers. It was named an ALSC Children’s Notable Book for 2016, a 2016 Mathical Honor Book, a 2016-2017 Texas Blueboliznnet Master List nominee, and a 2016-2017 Georgia Children’s Book Award Finalist.
Liz Wong was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, where she spent her early childhood painting and clambering about in mango trees. Liz holds a BFA in Art and a BA in Anthropology from the University of Washington. She is the writer and illustrator of Quackers, a picture book about a cat who thinks he's a duck, which published in March, 2016, by Knopf Books for Young Readers.
Ann Crewdson is a children's librarian at the Issaquah and Sammamish Libraries at the King County Library System, Washington, and the former chair of Washington Library Association's intellectual freedom interest group. Ann has over 20 years of experience working in public libraries.