The CBC Diversity initiative was founded in 2012, as part of the Children’s Book Council’s commitment to promoting diverse voices in literature for young people. We believe that all children deserve to see their world reflected in the books they read. We recognize that diversity takes on many forms, including differences in race, religion, gender, geography, sexual orientation, class, and ability. In addition to championing diverse authors and illustrators, CBC Diversity strives to open up the publishing industry to a wider range of employees. We’ve taken an active role in recruiting diverse candidates, participating in school career fairs and partnering with We Need Diverse Books on its summer internship program. CBC DiversityTumblr (3.0; @cbcdiversity) Big Bed by Bunmi Laditan; illustrated by Tom Knight (Farrar, Straus and Giroux BYR, February...<figure class="tmblr-full" data-orig-height="179" data-orig-width="600"><img src="" data-orig-height="179" data-orig-width="600"/></figure><figure class="tmblr-full" data-orig-height="1650" data-orig-width="2550"><img src="" data-orig-height="1650" data-orig-width="2550"/></figure><p><b><a href="" target="_blank">The Big Bed</a></b> by Bunmi Laditan; illustrated by Tom Knight (Farrar, Straus and Giroux BYR, February 2018). All rights reserved. <a class="tumblelog" href="" target="_blank">@macmillanchildrensbooks</a></p>, 14 Feb 2018 16:38:21 -0500cbcdiversitydrawingdiversityweneeddiversebookswndbthe big bedbunmi laditantom knightmacmillan children'sfsgfarrar straus and girouxbedtimekidskidlitkidlit artpicture booksMCBBD Feature: Family and Food: A Multicultural list for Preschool through 3rd Grade<p>JaNay Brown-Wood, author of <i>Grandma’s Tiny House: A Counting Story</i>, shares her book list “​Family and Food: A Multicultural list for Preschool through 3rd Grade” Check out the preview below and the full list & 3 book giveaway on the <a href="" target="_blank">Multicultural Children’s Book Day website</a>. <br/></p><figure data-orig-height="250" data-orig-width="225"><img src="" class="alignLeft" width="120" height="120"/></figure><p>1. <b><i>Grandma’s Tiny House: A Counting Story</i> </b>by JaNay Brown-Wood</p><p>This is a cozy counting picture book about the relatives visiting Grandma and eating until they are all stuffed. It’s a sweet, rhyming counting book introduces young readers to numbers one through fifteen. [picture book, for ages 2 and up]</p><br/><p><figure data-orig-height="250" data-orig-width="241"><img src="" class="alignLeft" width="120" height="120"/></figure></p><p>2. <i><b>Bee-Bim Bop!</b></i> by Linda Sue Park</p><p>This story is written in rhyme, showing the preparation of a popular Korean dish and the excitement of a hungry, young child. All the family members come together at the end to eat. The lines are rhythmic and the illustrations are fun. [picture book, ages 2 and up]</p><br/><p><figure data-orig-height="250" data-orig-width="205"><img src="" class="alignLeft" width="120" height="120"/></figure></p><p>3. <i><b>Feast for 10</b></i> by Cathryn Falwell</p><p>This book is an oldie but goodie. It follows an African American family as they get ready for a dinner with loved ones. It actually counts to ten twice, and is also written in rhyme. [picture book, ages 2 and up]</p><br/><br/><p> Read the full list & enter the giveaway <a href="" target="_blank">here</a>.</p>, 30 Jan 2018 17:34:21 -0500JaNay Brown-WoodGrandma's Tiny HouseCharlesbridge PublishingBook listChildren's books about foodMulticultural book listdiverse book listdiverse children's bookskidlitpicture booksWNDBMCCBD18multicultural children's book dayIn Conversation with Author JaNay Brown-Wood<p><i>By Julie Bliven</i></p><p><b>The first diversity question today is how do you self identify?</b></p><p>I am a black American woman. <b></b></p><p><b>How did your background influence your early reading and writing habits, if at all?</b></p><p>I grew up in a family where education was of utmost importance. Reading, writing, and all things academic were as normal and mandatory as breathing. I am thankful for how much my parents valued education. They read to us each night and exposed us to different texts ranging from poetry and children’s literature to newspapers and encyclopedias. I still remember when my dad ordered a collection of Encyclopedia Britannica that filled an entire bookshelf in our living room. I do admit that I initially didn’t like reading for fun, but I thoroughly enjoyed writing my own stories, poetry, and songs. Reading grew on me, and, to this day, both reading and writing are integral parts of my life. </p><p><b>Growing up, did you see and/or envision yourself in the stories you read?</b></p><p>I didn’t see myself in many stories that I read, but two do come to mind: Vera B. Williams’s <i>Cherries and Cherry Pits</i> and John Steptoe’s <i>Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters</i>. I don’t remember loving those books, but they do stick out in my mind—possibly because they had black girls in them. As a teenager I remember reading Mildred D. Taylor’s <i>Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry</i>, and while the protagonist was black, I didn’t feel like I connected to her that much. I think I insulated myself from not being represented in books because I wrote my own stories where <i>I</i> was the main character. I wrote a bunch of stories starring Detective JaNay Brown where I’d go on adventures and solve mysteries. I also remember writing stories with black girls that were similar to me, even if they didn’t have my name. So although I didn’t really feel myself connecting to published books, I definitely connected to my own work since I was the one solving all the problems!</p><!-- more --><p><b>How did you get into writing for children?</b></p><figure data-orig-height="214" data-orig-width="196"><img src="" class="alignLeft" width="200" height="200"/></figure><p>I always knew I wanted to write for children. My love for writing started when I was very young. For a sixth-grade assignment I wrote and illustrated a picture book. My entire class sat and listened as I read it. When I was being promoted to seventh grade, my sixth-grade teacher, Mrs. Welch, predicted that I’d become a “best-selling author.” I still have the prediction she made, so it was such a powerful moment for me when my first picture book, <i>Imani’s Moon, </i>was published, and Mrs. Welch was right there at my book release party. I may not be a best-selling author (yet!), but it was still a magical moment. So yes, I always knew I wanted to write books, and my voice seemed to naturally connect to young readers. As for getting work published, that took lots of hard work, persistence, honing my craft, and support. It’s no easy feat to publish books, but I won’t let a challenge keep me from doing what I enjoy and find important.</p><p><b>What appeals most to you about the job of writing for children?</b></p><p>There’s so much that appeals to me about writing for children. I enjoy being creative—coming up with dynamic characters, interesting plotlines, or alliterative rhymes. I also like finding things from my own experience and capturing them on the page. For example, my latest picture book, <i>Grandma’s Tiny House,</i> was inspired by my family’s Thanksgiving celebrations. I also appreciate the big responsibility that comes with being an author. It is authors who help children get hooked on reading. When we write stories that children want to engage with, we are setting the foundation for a literate future. I take this responsibility very seriously! I also love when children connect with my characters. I can recall one of the times I read <i>Imani’s Moon</i> to a group of children. A little black girl flipped through the pages of her own copy, showing me the pages as we moved through the story. The huge smile on her face stays with me, especially since her middle name was Imani.</p><p><b>Can you tell me about <i>Grandma’s Tiny House</i>, your recent picture book that is referred to as a casual diversity title?</b></p><figure class="tmblr-full" data-orig-height="1139" data-orig-width="1139"><img src="" class="alignRight" width="200" height="200"/></figure><p><i>Grandma’s Tiny House</i> is the book version of my family’s Thanksgiving gathering. I have a giant family (my dad had thirteen or fourteen siblings—I lost count) and we’d often go over to my grandma’s house for holiday celebrations, bringing food to share. Many of the foods depicted in the book are exactly what we ate, including turkey, collard greens, biscuits, cheesecakes, etc. It feels so good to see children enjoying my words that describe something that is so near and dear to my heart. And something that I’ve really enjoyed about the publication of <i>Grandma’s Tiny House</i> is that I’ve been told so many times by people of different races that my story is just like what happens at <i>their</i> grandma’s house. </p><p><b>Can you give an example of another recent diversity title that you would recommend and why?</b></p><p>There are so many to choose from. But I am a huge fan of Gaia Cornwall’s <i>Jabari Jumps</i>. It is a simple picture-book story that so many children can relate to. It’s about being afraid of jumping off the high dive but overcoming the fear and succeeding. I also love the beautiful artwork! Cornwall made such a deliberate choice to differ the skin tones of the dad, little sister, and Jabari. And it is the dad—rather than a mother figure—who takes them to the pool and talks Jabari through his fears. Such a great work! I am also a huge fan of Angie Thomas’s <i>The Hate U</i> <i>Give</i>. I really saw myself in Starr, and I thought Thomas did such a superb job handling difficult subjects that are prominent in the black community today.</p><p><b>How did you feel when you heard about the new grassroots organization People of Color in Publishing?</b></p><p>I am beyond excited to hear about this new development within the realm of publishing. When I first heard about the organization, two things came to mind. I thought: 1) Finally! A comprehensive group that includes more than just authors aimed at combating the lack of diversity!; and 2) I want in! How can I help? </p><p>Diversity in children’s books is so important, and this expands beyond race. All kids should be able to find themselves in the books they read—so let’s continue to make that happen in a big way!</p><p><b>How do you feel about the future of children’s publishing and your future as an author, given the #OwnVoices Movement, We Need Diverse Books, and additional people and actions working to make our industry better reflect the world we live in?</b></p><p>This is an area I am incredibly passionate about. Diversity is paramount to a future where individuals embrace one another’s differences and work together as a whole to make a better, more compassionate world. I am in the process of determining what role I can play in moving diversity forward, beyond being an author. One thing I can share is I am currently working on my doctorate degree in education at the University of California, Davis. My research is aimed at looking into the impacts that diversity in books can have on children. I am in the process of analyzing some data I collected and am eager to see what my findings show. (I’m not sharing specifics quite yet.) </p><p>Because I believe in the importance of diversity in children’s books so much, I am trying to do my part in supporting this as an author in the books I write, as a educator in the classes I teach and workshops I give, and as a researcher in the studies I conduct and papers I write. I feel the future looks bright for children’s publishing, and I hope each of these movements and organizations continue to gain momentum as we push for a more representative body of literature that children can read from, learn from, and be inspired by.</p><figure class="tmblr-full" data-orig-height="3" data-orig-width="500"><img src="" data-orig-height="3" data-orig-width="500"/></figure><figure class="tmblr-full" data-orig-height="640" data-orig-width="427"><img src="" class="alignLeft" width="170" height="170"/></figure><br/><p><b>JaNay Brown-Wood</b> is a professor of early childhood and writes books for children. She is the author of <i>Imani’s Moon</i> and <i>Grandma’s Tiny House</i>. JaNay lives with her family in California.</p><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><p><figure class="tmblr-full" data-orig-height="600" data-orig-width="459"><img src="" class="alignLeft" width="170" height="170"/></figure><br/></p><p><b>Julie Bliven</b> is editor at Charlesbridge, where she edits fiction and nonfiction board books, picture books, and middle-grade novels. She and JaNay Brown-Wood are currently collaborating on their third picture book together. Julie holds an M.A. in Children’s Literature from Simmons College, mentors writers in the college’s M.F.A. program, and has taught writing courses at the Jewish Community Center of Massachusetts. She is also a former member of the Children’s Book Council Diversity Initiative. @Julie_Bliven</p>, 30 Jan 2018 08:30:16 -0500JaNay Brown-WoodJulie BlivenCharlesbridge PublishingGrandma's Tiny HouseIndustry Q & ADiverse booksBlack American authorWNDBkidlitDiverse children's bookschildren's booksMCCBD Feature: 10 Native Books to Inspire the Young Ones and Young at Heart!<p> Sandy Tharp-Thee, author of <i> The Apple Tree</i>, shares her book list “​10 Native Books to Inspire the Young Ones and Young at Heart!” Check out the preview below and the full list & 25 book giveaway on the <a href="" target="_blank">Multicultural Children’s Book Day website</a>. <br/></p><figure data-orig-height="250" data-orig-width="208"><img src="" class="alignLeft" width="120" height="120"/></figure><p>1. <i><b>Buffalo Song </b></i>by Joseph Bruchac, illustrated by Bill Farnsworth</p><p>The story of how the buffalo nearly became extinct, but because people cared enough and worked together we can still enjoy the American buffalo today. It offers insight to the meaning and importance of the buffalo to Native people from yesteryear to today. Based on true events, it reveals the consequences of one small buffalo being rescued by a boy and his father.</p><p>I believe the author said he spent sixteen years researching this true story.  When I read it, I like to have the children sing with me.  As a tribal librarian, this story allowed me to share the past, present, and future of buffalo.  Today, the buffalo are no longer in danger, and we can enjoy them in the wild but also purchase the healthier bison meat.  It is because of people coming together that this is possible.</p><p>Before reading this story with the children, I would share:  Imagine if I could give you a gift and that gift gave you the shoes that you are wearing.  Now imagine if that same gift provided your clothes, food, and even your shelter or home.  What might you say to the creator that gave you such a gift?  How would you care for such a gift? [picture book, ages 7 and up]</p><br/><figure data-orig-height="250" data-orig-width="199"><img src="" class="alignLeft" width="120" height="120"/></figure><p>2. <i><b>The Story of Jumping Mouse </b></i>by John Steptoe</p><p>One of the smallest creatures—the mouse—is drawn to the sound of the river and the idea of reaching the top of a mountain.  His journey gives him a new name, “Jumping Mouse.” Along the way he discovers that he can help those in great need.  The sacrifice is huge, but he freely gives, and his award in the end is life changing.</p><p>This story is precious to me because the mouse while being so small is nonetheless unafraid.  Even when a buffalo and a wolf cross his path, the mouse doesn’t let his feelings of awe overcome him; instead, he humbly revels in the realization that a little mouse like he might be able to help them.  Indeed, he helps the two strangers freely without question.  If only we could be like the tiny mouse.  One of my favorite sayings is to remember whatever we do is not wasted, and, of, course everything we do does come back. [picture book, ages 7 and up]</p><br/><figure data-orig-height="250" data-orig-width="250"><img src="" class="alignLeft" width="120" height="120"/></figure><p>3. <i><b>Welcome Song for Baby</b></i> by Richard Van Camp</p><p>This board book is true to its title—a song to welcome a baby.  Every child deserves to hear how dear, loved, cherished, and beautiful they are and how they are making the world a better place.   A promise and thank you sung to the gift: the baby.</p><p>This book is a song, and I have found that babies will stop crying to listen to it sung softly.  But more than that, babies need to hear the sweet words of welcome that are in this book.  Siblings could easily learn the words to sing to a new brother or sister. The photographs are excellent, and I found even the youngest of children enjoy looking at real photographs.  (One of my younger patrons with autism especially enjoyed books that included photographs with faces.) [picture book, ages infant and up]</p><br/><p>Read the full list & enter the giveaway <a href="" target="_blank">here</a>.</p>, 25 Jan 2018 13:01:25 -0500Sandy Tharp-TheeThe Apple TreeRoadRunner PressMCCBD18Multicultural Children's Book Daynative storieschildren's book listchildren's bookskidlitdiverse booksMCCBD Feature: Diverse Books about Inclusion that Make the World a Better Place<p> Jo Meserve Mach, Vera Lynne Stroup-Rentier, and Mary Birdsell, authors of <i>Claire Wants a Boxing Name</i>, share their book list “​Books Making the World Better Through Inclusion.” Check out the preview below and the full list on the <a href="" target="_blank">Multicultural Children’s Book Day website</a>. <br/></p><figure data-orig-height="250" data-orig-width="201"><img src="" data-orig-height="250" data-orig-width="201"/></figure><p>1. <i><b>Emanuel’s Dream</b></i> by Lauri Ann Thompson, illustrated by Sean Qualls</p><p>I love true stories and this true story of Emmanual Ofos Yeboah is so inspiring! Because his mother believes he can teach himself how to gain the skills he does just that. The fact he is missing part of one leg doesn’t limit him.  Emmanuels quote at the end of the book says it all: “In this world, we are not perfect. We can only do our best.” [picture book, ages 4 and up]</p><figure data-orig-height="250" data-orig-width="205"><img src="" data-orig-height="250" data-orig-width="205"/></figure><p><a href="" target="_blank"></a></p><p>2. <b><i>My Three Best Friends and Me, Zulay</i></b> by Cari Best, illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton</p><p>This is a fun story that takes place at school. It portrays inclusion in a wonderful way.  Zulay becomes just another child participating in Field Day. At first she seems different because she is blind but then she is like every other child competing at school. [picture book, ages 4 and up]</p><figure data-orig-height="250" data-orig-width="201"><img src="" data-orig-height="250" data-orig-width="201"/></figure><p><a href="" target="_blank"></a></p><p>3. <i><b>Max the Champion </b></i>by Sean Stockdale and Alexandra Strick, illustrated by Ros Asquith</p><p>I like this story because it’s about following your passion. Max loves sports and he and other children with all types of abilities enjoy playing together. The fact that Max has a hearing aid doesn’t interfere with his inclusion in the sports he loves. [picture book, ages 4 and up]</p><p>Read the full list <a href="" target="_blank">here</a>.</p>, 24 Jan 2018 17:14:04 -0500InclusionJo Meserve MachClaire Wants a Boxing NameVera Lynne Stroup-RentierMary BirdsellBooks about inclusionchildren's bookskidlitDiverse booksWNDBMCCBD Feature: Books for Teens Featuring African-American Protagonists<p>Mike Mullin, author of <i>Surface Tension,</i> shares his book list “​Books for Teens Featuring African-American Protagonists.” Check out the preview below and the full list & 5 book giveaway on the <a href="" target="_blank">Multicultural Children’s Book Day website</a>. <br/></p><figure data-orig-height="250" data-orig-width="178"><img src="" class="alignLeft" width="120" height="120" alt="image"/></figure><p>1. <i><b>Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry</b></i> by Mildred D. Taylor</p><p>I first read this novel the same year I first saw Star Wars, when I was ten or eleven. Both experiences linger in my memory nearly 40 years later. It wasn’t the first time I’d read books with Black protagonists (that would be Ezra Jack Keats’ brilliant picture books), but it was the first time I’d read about the brutality of racism. Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry is set in 1930’s Mississippi—Taylor sets the scene so well that by the time you’re done reading you’ll be able to taste the rust-colored dust of the dirt roads.</p><p>Cassie is an indomitable heroine. Every time I read her story, I alternate between feeling terror and elation as she confronts everything from racist insults to horrific threats against her person. But the true brilliance of the novel is the theme of fire running throughout it, beginning with the horribly burnt body of Mr. Berry and ending with a forest fire—it serves as a stark metaphor for the all-consuming nature of racism. [chapter book, ages 11 and up]</p><br/><figure data-orig-height="250" data-orig-width="168"><img src="" class="alignLeft" width="120" height="120" alt="image"/></figure><p><a href="" target="_blank"></a></p><p>2. <i><b>M.C. Higgins the Great</b></i> by Virginia Hamilton</p><p>I think I loved this book because I identified so strongly with the protagonist: Mayo Cornelius Higgins, a brainy, disaffected young man who watches the world from atop a 40’ steel pole. Like M.C., I climbed everything in sight. (Trees, buildings… I never had a 40’ pole, but I have no doubt I would have tried to climb it. My favorite place was a tree covered in vines—I could climb up, stick my head out the top, and gaze over what looked like a leafy meadow suspended 60’ above the ground.) I also identified with the alliance M.C. builds with his neighbors, the light-skinned, red-headed Killburns. I never tried to build a wall with the Black kids who lived next door to me—Mark, Todd, and Glen—but we did build some wicked BMX ramps together! Years after I first read M.C. Higgins the Great, I met Virginia Hamilton and she signed a copy for me. I wish I’d bought a hardcover, but at that point I was in college and nearly broke. I also wish my handwriting were half as lovely as hers:</p><p>If you enjoy <i>M.C. Higgins the Great</i>, don’t miss <i>The Planet of Junior Brown </i>and <i>The House of Dies Drear,</i> my other favorite Hamilton novels. [chapter book, ages 11 and up]</p><br/><figure data-orig-height="250" data-orig-width="176"><img src="" class="alignLeft" width="120" height="120" alt="image"/></figure><p><a href="" target="_blank"></a></p><p>3. <i><b>Monster</b></i> by Walter Dean Myers</p><p>I could have put lots of Myers books on this list, but this is the one that haunted my dreams for months after I read it. The protagonist, Steve, is facing 25-years to life for a crime he didn’t commit. Myers tells the story entirely through diary entries and a screenplay Steve is writing. But the real story here is Steve’s inner battle, as he struggles to reject the label society has already branded him with: Monster. [young adult, ages 13 and up]</p><br/><p> Read the full list and enter the giveaway <a href="" target="_blank">here</a>.</p>, 23 Jan 2018 14:03:47 -0500Mike MullinSurface TensionAfrican-American protagonistsMulticultural Children's Book DayMCCBD18Children's booksKid litMGLitYAlitDiverse booksWNDBMCCBD Feature: 8 Picture Books About Feeling Different But Finding Your Place<p> Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen, author of <i>Splatypus</i> shares her book list “8 Picture Books About Feeling Different But Finding Your Place.” Check out the preview below and the full list & 5 book giveaway on the <a href="" target="_blank">Multicultural Children’s Book Day website</a>. <br/></p><figure data-orig-height="250" data-orig-width="250"><img src="" class="alignLeft" width="120" height="120"/></figure><p>1. <i><b>Flight School</b></i> by Lita Judge</p><p>Little Penguin wants to fly — no matter what anyone says about aeronautical deficiencies of the penguin body. He perseveres, relying more on willpower than talent. Eventually, adding an encouraging teacher and a dash of teamwork allows Little Penguin to soar to new heights. I love how this story makes you believe in miracles — even if they need a little assistance. [picture book, ages 4 and up]</p><br/><figure data-orig-height="250" data-orig-width="196"><img src="" class="alignLeft" width="120" height="120"/></figure><p><a href="" target="_blank"></a></p><p>2. <i><b>Chrysanthemum</b></i> by Kevin Henkes</p><p>Chrysanthemum loves the uniqueness of her name until she realizes at school that unique means different and that different isn’t always accepted. Her self-esteem is deeply affected by her classmates making her feel out of place. But Chrysanthemum finds a kindred spirit and learns a lesson I myself have struggled with often — that even things (and people) that don’t seem to belong do actually belong somewhere. [picture book, ages 4 and up]</p><br/><figure data-orig-height="250" data-orig-width="250"><img src="" class="alignLeft" width="120" height="120"/></figure><p>3. <i><b>Unlike Other Monsters</b></i> by Audrey Vernick,‎ illustrated by Colin Jack</p><p>Everyone knows monsters don’t have friends, so Zander (himself a monster) isn’t surprised by his friendless state. But while he is unsurprised, he is also disappointed. Unlike other monsters, Zander longs for friendship — which he thinks he may have found in the form of a little red bird. Before Zander can truly bond with his new friend he has to learn to let go of other people’s (or other monsters’) expectations and give himself permission to be himself. A sweet story of finding new friends and also of finding yourself. [picture book, ages 5 and up]</p><br/><p>Read the full list and enter the giveaway <a href="" target="_blank">here</a>.</p>, 22 Jan 2018 17:37:48 -0500Sudipta Bardhan-QuallenSplatypusfinding your placefitting inMulticultural Children's Book DayMCCBD18Children's bookskidlitAmazon publishingMCCBD Feature: Eight Picture Books with Diverse Family Constellations<p>Megan Dowd Lambert, author of <i>Real Sisters Pretend</i>, shares her book list “Eight Picture Books with Diverse Family Constellations.” Check out the preview below and the full list on the <a href="" target="_blank">Multicultural Children’s Book Day website</a>. <br/></p><figure data-orig-height="250" data-orig-width="223"><img src="" class="alignLeft" width="120" height="120"/></figure><p>1. <i><b>Fred Stays with Me</b></i> by Nancy Coffelt, illustrated by Tricia Tusa</p><p>A little girl whose parents are divorced splits her time between her mom’s house and her dad’s. Her dog, the eponymous Fred, also moves between homes, which gives her a sense of stability and consistency in her co-parenting, joint-custody family arrangement. [picture book, ages 3 and up]</p><br/><p><figure data-orig-height="250" data-orig-width="250"><img src="" class="alignLeft" width="120" height="120"/></figure></p><p><a href="" target="_blank"></a></p><p>2. <i><b>Stella Brings the Family</b></i> by Miriam Schiffer Baker, illustrated by Holly Clifton-Brown</p><p>Stella has two dads and isn’t quite sure what to do for her class’s Mother’s Day celebration. Ultimately, she decides to bring both of her parents, as well as other family members who nurture her, and they are all affirmed and welcomed by everyone at school. [picture book, ages 5 and up]</p><br/><figure data-orig-height="250" data-orig-width="225"><img src="" class="alignLeft" width="120" height="120"/></figure><p><a href="" target="_blank"></a></p><p>3. <i><b>Real Sisters Pretend </b></i>by Megan Dowd Lambert, illustrated by Nicole Tadgell</p><p>Inspired by two of the author’s daughters, this is a story about adoptive sisters, Mia (who is multiracial) and Tayja (who is Back), who affirm their bonds with one another after a stranger questions whether they are “real sisters” since they don’t look alike. They punctuate their pretend play with conversation about their adoption stories, and it all culminates in a warm family hug with their two moms. [picture book, ages 4 and up]</p><br/><p>Read the full list <a href="" target="_blank">here</a>. </p>, 18 Jan 2018 13:30:46 -0500Megan Dowd LambertReal Sisters PretendDiverse familyDiverse familiesDiverse family book listmulticultural book listdiverse children's booksMCCBD18Multicultural Children's Book DayWNDBkidlitchildren's booksMCCBD Feature: Sexual Violence Diversity Books for Young Adults<p>Sonia Patel, author of <i>Jaya and Rasa: A Love Story,</i> shares her book list “Sexual Violence Diversity Books for Young Adults.” Check out the preview below and the full list & 5 book giveaway on the <a href="" target="_blank">Multicultural Children’s Book Day website</a>. <br/></p><figure data-orig-height="250" data-orig-width="167"><img src="" class="alignLeft" width="120" height="120"/></figure><p><br/>1. <i><b>Rani Patel In Full Effect</b></i> by Sonia Patel</p><p>My debut novel is about how a Gujarati Indian American teen growing up on the rural Hawaiian island of Molokai uses her love for hip hop and rap to navigate the emotional and interpersonal sequalae of incest and rape. The main character, Rani, is based on a mix of my experiences, those of patients I’ve treated and girls/women I’ve known. [young adult, ages 13 and up]</p><br/><figure data-orig-height="250" data-orig-width="167"><img src="" class="alignLeft" width="120" height="120"/></figure><p><a href="" target="_blank"></a></p><p>2. <i><b>Jaya and Rasa: A Love Story</b></i> by Sonia Patel</p><p>My second novel is about the love the grows between a transgender Gujarati Indian boy and a sex trafficked mixed ethnicity girl after their chance meeting on a mountain trail in Hawaii. Both characters are based on amalgams of real patients I’ve treated and their experiences. [young adult, ages 13 and up]</p><br/><br/><figure data-orig-height="250" data-orig-width="162"><img src="" class="alignLeft" width="120" height="120"/></figure><p><a href="" target="_blank"></a></p><p>3. <i><b>Push</b></i> by Sapphire</p><p>I love the main character in this book, a black teenager growing up in Harlem. Her story is brutal and realistic. I’ve heard similar stories in my work as a child & adolescent psychiatrist. [young adult, ages 13 and up]</p><p><br/><br/><br/>Read the full list and enter the 5 book giveaway <a href="" target="_blank">here</a>.</p>, 17 Jan 2018 13:28:38 -0500Jaya and RasaSonia PatelYA books on sexual violencesexual violencebook listreading listMCCBD18WNDBWe Need Diverse BooksYA lityoung adultMCCBD Feature: Middle Grade Spanish/English Bilingual Books<p>Eric and Natalie Yoder, authors of <i>Short Mysteries You Solve With Math,</i> share their book list “ Middle Grade Spanish/English Bilingual Books.” Check out the preview below and the full list on the <a href="" target="_blank">Multicultural Children’s Book Day website</a>.</p><figure data-orig-height="250" data-orig-width="162"><img src="" class="alignLeft" width="120" height="120"/></figure><p>1. <b><i>One Minute Mysteries: Short Mysteries You Solve With Math/Misterios de un Minuto: Misterios Cortos Que Resuelves con Matematicas</i></b> by Eric Yoder & Natalie Yoder</p><p>Now you can solve mysteries in English, Spanish or both! This award-winning title is now available as a bilingual book. Use it to expand your language and math skills at the same time. Each math mystery takes just one minute to read, and challenges a child’s knowledge in essential, age-appropriate math topics. [chapter book, ages 10 and up]</p><br/><figure data-orig-height="250" data-orig-width="167"><img src="" class="alignLeft" width="120" height="120"/></figure><p><a href="" target="_blank"></a></p><p>2.<b><i> Cool Salsa: Bilingual Poems on Growing Up Latino in the United States</i></b> edited by Lori Marie Carlson</p><p>Growing up Latino in America means speaking two languages, living two lives, learning the rules of two cultures. This book of poetry celebrates the tones, rhythms, sounds, and experiences of that double life. Here are poems about families and parties, insults and sad memories, hot dogs and mangos. [chapter book, ages 8 and up]</p><br/><figure data-orig-height="215" data-orig-width="250"><img src="" class="alignLeft" width="120" height="120"/></figure><p><a href="" target="_blank"></a></p><p>3. <i><b>In My Family/En mi familia</b></i> by Carmen Lomas Garza</p><p>This book is a tribute to the family and community that shaped the author’s childhood and life. Lomas Garza’s vibrant paintings and warm personal stories depict memories of growing up in the traditional Mexican-American community of her hometown of Kingsville, Texas. [chapter book, ages 6 and up]</p><p>Read the full list <a href="" target="_blank">here</a>.</p>, 16 Jan 2018 16:50:52 -0500Eric YoderNatalie YoderOne Minute MysteriesShort Mysteries You Solve with MathMisterios Cortos QueResuelves Con MatematicasEnglish/SpanishBilingual children's booksBilingual middle grade booksMGLitDiverse booksBooks in spanishWNDBMCCBD18MCCBD Feature: 8 Australian Multicultural YA Books<p>Melissa Keil, author of <i>The Secret Science of Magic,</i> shares her book list “8 Australian Multicultural YA Books.” Check out the preview below and the full list on the <a href="" target="_blank">Multicultural Children’s Book Day website</a>. </p><figure data-orig-height="250" data-orig-width="162"><img src="" class="alignLeft" width="120" height="120"/></figure><p>1.<i><b> Looking for Alibrandi</b></i> by Melina Marchetta</p><p>Josie Alibrandi navigates life with her wealthy Catholic school peers and her Italian-Australian family, while dealing with the reappearance of her estranged father, and the complexities of romance. With a wonderfully realized protagonist and heartfelt prose, Alibrandi is a modern Australian YA classic. [young adult, ages 13 and up]</p><br/><br/><br/><figure data-orig-height="250" data-orig-width="162"><img src="" class="alignLeft" width="120" height="120"/></figure><p><a href="" target="_blank"></a></p><p>2. <i><b>Laurinda</b></i> (published in the US as Lucy and Linh) by Alice Pung</p><p>At an exclusive private school for girls, Lucy Lam enrolls as a scholarship student, finding herself tangling with a group of girls known as the Cabinet, who wield extraordinary influence over their peers and teachers. Timely and relevant YA that tackles the thorny issues of power, privilege, class and race. [young adult, ages 14 and up]</p><br/><figure data-orig-height="250" data-orig-width="162"><img src="" class="alignLeft" width="120" height="120"/></figure><p><a href="" target="_blank"></a></p><p>3.<b><i> Does My Head Look Big in This?</i></b> by Randa Abdel-Fattah</p><p>Sixteen-year-old Amal decides to adopt the hijab full time, and deals with the repercussions from her schoolmates, parents and friends. With a great voice in the character of Amal, this book is a funny and moving look at confronting stereotypes and staying true to yourself. [young adult, ages 12 and up]</p><br/><br/><p>Read the full list <a href="" target="_blank">here</a>.</p>, 16 Jan 2018 00:48:54 -0500Melissa KeilThe Secret Science of MagicAustralian writersDiverse booksWNDBPeachtreeYAlitMCCBDMulticultural Children's Book DayMCCBD Feature: Diverse Books with Food (and Recipe)<p>Aram Kim, author of <i>No Kimchi for Me!</i>, shares her picture book list of “Diverse Books with Food (and Recipe).” Check out the preview below and the full list on the <a href="" target="_blank">Multicultural Children’s Book Day website</a>. <br/><br/></p><figure data-orig-height="250" data-orig-width="195"><img src="" class="alignLeft" width="120" height="120"/></figure><p><br/>1. <b><i>Hot, Hot Roti for Dada-ji</i></b> by F. Zia, llustrated by Ken Min</p><p>Aneel enjoys his grandparents’ visit, especially his grandpa’s fairytale-like old stories from India. This book intertwines contemporary Indian-American life, traditional Indian lifestyle, great storytelling, and intergenerational bond over stories and food. It is a great mixture of everything! [picture book, ages 4 and up]</p><br/><figure data-orig-height="250" data-orig-width="209"><img src="" class="alignLeft" width="120" height="120"/></figure><p><a href="" target="_blank"></a></p><p>2. <b><i>Cora Cooks Pancit </i></b>by Dorina K. Lazo Gilmore, illustrated by Kristi Valiant</p><p>Cora is the youngest and always stuck doing a “kid’s job” in the kitchen while her big brothers and sisters do a cool job. When Cora is in the kitchen with her mom alone, she finally gets to do a grownup job and plays a big part in cooking a delicious Filipino noodle dish pancit! Readers can feel the excitement of little Cora and follow her delightful journey. *Recipe included. [picture book, ages 4 and up]</p><br/><figure data-orig-height="248" data-orig-width="250"><img src="" class="alignLeft" width="120" height="120"/></figure><p><a href="" target="_blank"></a></p><p>3. <b><i>Jalapeño Bagels </i></b>by Natasha Wing, illustrated by Robert Casilla</p><p>Pablo helps out in the family bakery and picks an item to bring to his International Day at school. The bakery carries his mom’s various Mexican sweet bread and his dad’s Jewish bagels and challah bread. All kinds look delicious to Pablo, but he finally picks jalapeño bagels that seem to represent himself. The story carries multicultural fare effectively and deliciously. *Recipes included. [picture book, ages 4 and up]</p><p><br/>Read the full list <a href="" target="_blank">here</a>.</p>, 11 Jan 2018 12:23:34 -0500Aram KimNo Kimchi For MeHoliday HouseDiverse BooksDiverse foodmulticultural foodmulticultural bookschildren's booksdiverse picture booksdiverse children's bookskidlitWNDBMCCBD18MCCBD Feature: Bold, Creative Girls and Women in Picture Books<p> Duncan Tonatiuh, author of <i>Danza!: Amalia Hernandez and Mexico’s Folkloric Ballet</i>, shares his picture book list of “Bold, Creative Girls and Women.” Check out the preview below and the full list on the <a href="" target="_blank">Multicultural Children’s Book Day website</a>.<br/></p><figure data-orig-height="250" data-orig-width="200"><img src="" class="alignLeft" width="120" height="120"/></figure><p><br/>1. <b><i>Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music</i></b> by Margarita Engle, illustrated by Rafael López</p><p>This book is based on the story of Millo Castro, a young girl who pursued her dream of playing the drums at a time when girls in Cuba where not supposed to. Engles verses and López’s illustrations add magic to this inspirational story. [picture book, ages 4 and up]</p><figure data-orig-height="250" data-orig-width="204"><img src="" class="alignLeft" width="120" height="120"/></figure><p><a href="" target="_blank"></a></p><p><br/>2. <b><i>Ada Twist, Scientist</i></b> by Andrea Beaty, illustrated by David Roberts</p><p>This fun book in rhymes is about a young girl who gets into a bit of trouble investigating the cause of a mysterious pungent smell. Ada does not give up on her inquiry though because she has the mind and determination of a scientist. [picture book, ages 5 and up]</p><br/><br/><figure data-orig-height="250" data-orig-width="167"><img src="" class="alignLeft" width="120" height="120"/></figure><p><a href="" target="_blank"></a></p><p>3. <b><i>Ling & Ting: Not Exactly the Same</i></b> by Grace Lin</p><p>This fun book about two Chinese-American twin sisters is broken up into six short stories that connect at the end. It is a great read for beginning readers. [easy reader, ages 5 and up]</p><p><a href="" target="_blank"></a></p><p><br/><br/><br/>Read the full list <a href="" target="_blank">here</a>.</p>, 10 Jan 2018 15:22:45 -0500Duncan TonatiuhDanzaAmalia Hernandez and Mexico's Folkloric BalletAmalia HernandezkidlitWNDBWe Need Diverse BooksDiverse bookschildren's bookspicture booksAbramsGraphic Novels Recommended by Sci-Fu Characters!<p>Yehudi Mercado, author of <i>Sci-Fu</i>, shares a graphic novel list recommended by characters from his book <i>Sci-Fu</i>. Check out the preview below and the full list on the <a href="" target="_blank">Multicultural Children’s Book Day website</a>.</p><p>1. Wax’s pick</p><figure data-orig-height="250" data-orig-width="169"><img src="" class="alignLeft" width="120" height="120"/></figure><p><br/><b><i>Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 3: Stardust Crusaders</i></b> by Hirohiko Araki</p><p>Wax is all about music. It’s the life force that flows through him. I imagine he would really tear into an action-packed manga about a troubled kid who thinks he’s possessed with a demon, but it turns out to be a superpower called “A Stand.” Many characters are named after famous musicians like Ronnie James Dio, Iggy Pop and Terrence Trent Darby. [graphic novel, ages 14 and up]</p><p> <a href="" target="_blank"></a></p><p><br/>2. Pirate Polly’s pick</p><figure data-orig-height="250" data-orig-width="167"><img src="" class="alignLeft" width="120" height="120"/></figure><p><br/><b><i>A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel</i></b> by Madeleine L’Engle and Hope Larson</p><p>Pirate Polly would have resisted reading A Wrinkle in Time, thinking was for too cool for it, but as soon she opened this dimension-bending epic about a troubled tween searching for her scientist father through space and time, she was hooked. [graphic novel, ages 8 and up]</p><p><a href="" target="_blank"></a></p><p><br/><br/>3. Cooky P’s pick</p><figure data-orig-height="250" data-orig-width="166"><img src="" class="alignLeft" width="120" height="120"/></figure><p><br/><b><i>Jake the Fake Keeps it Real </i></b>Hardcover by Craig Robinson and Adam Mansbach, illustrated by Keith Knight</p><p>Cooky P knows he’s not the smartest (like D), or the coolest (like Pirate Polly), or the most talented (like Wax), so he would relate to the middle-grader who fakes his way into an elite music and arts magnet school. [notebook novel, ages 8 and up]</p><p><br/><br/>Read the full list <a href="" target="_blank">here</a>.</p>, 09 Jan 2018 14:56:23 -0500Yehudi MercadoSci-FuOni PressRead Your WorldGraphic novelskidlitmglitMCCBD18Multicultural Children's Book DayMCCBD Feature: 8 Diverse Picture Books for Next-Generation Change Makers<p>Jamia Wilson, author of <i>Young Gifted and Black</i>, shares her own diverse picture book list on Next-Generation Change Makers. Check out the preview below and the full list on the Multicultural Children’s Book Day website!</p><figure data-orig-height="250" data-orig-width="214"><img src="" class="alignLeft" width="120" height="120"/></figure><p><br/>1. <b><i>Young Gifted and Black</i></b> by Jamia Wilson, illustrated by Andrea Pippins</p><p>This our love letter to the next-generation of black leaders doers, thinkers, dreamers and creators. [picture book, ages 7 and up]</p><br/><br/><figure data-orig-height="210" data-orig-width="250"><img src="" class="alignLeft" width="130" height="130"/></figure><p>2. <b><i>How Mamas Love Their Babies</i></b> by Juniper Fitzgerald, illustrated by Elise Peterson</p><p>Celebrate the variety of ways diverse mothers support their children through labor and love. It also happens to be published by the Feminist Press, where I work. [picture book, ages 4 and up]</p><figure data-orig-height="250" data-orig-width="250"><img src="" class="alignLeft" width="120" height="120"/></figure><p><br/>3. <b><i>Thunderboy Jr.</i></b> by Sherman Alexie, illustrated by Yuyi Morales</p><p>This gorgeous relationship between a father and son also explores the meaning of names and how they shape who we are. [picture book, ages 5 and up]</p><p><br/><br/>Read the full list <a href="" target="_blank">here</a>.</p>, 08 Jan 2018 14:17:25 -0500Jamia WilsonYoung Gifted and BlackRead Your WorldWNDBDiverse picture booksDiverse bookskidlitchildren's booksmulticultural children's book dayMCCBD18Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2018<p>CBC Diversity/The Children’s Book Council is once again partnering up with Multicultural Children’s Book Day this year. Though this national celebration officially takes place on January 27th, we will be featuring diverse book lists from the Multicultural Book Day blog throughout the entire month of January! </p><figure data-orig-height="300" data-orig-width="232"><img src="" class="alignRight" width="200" height="200"/></figure><p>Authors have come up with their own fantastic diversity lists that you can explore for new diverse books recommendations and there will be many giveaways throughout the month. Check this space throughout January and be sure not to miss out!<br/></p><p>More information about Multicultural Children’s Book Day is in the press release below.<!-- more --></p><p><b>5</b><b><sup>th</sup></b><b> Annual Multicultural Children’s Book Day Celebrated on January 27</b><b><sup>th</sup></b><b>, 2018  </b></p><p><i> FREE Classroom Empathy Kit, Multicultural Book Lists, Free Book Giveaways and Activities at <a href="" target="_blank"></a></i></p><p><b>January 5, 2017 </b>— <b><a href="" target="_blank">Multicultural Children’s Book Day</a></b>,  a national non-profit, created to raise awareness around diversity in children’s literature so that all kids can see themselves in books.  The mission of the Multicultural Children’s Book Day is to put diverse children’s books on shelves and into the hands of children and families across the country. The 5<sup>th</sup> annual celebration will take place on January 27<sup>th</sup>, 2018.</p><p> Leading up to the celebratory day, educators, librarians and parents can start planning and preparing with FREE activities available at <a href="" target="_blank"></a>.</p><p><b>FREE RESOURCES FOR PARENTS AND TEACHERS :</b></p><p><b>FREE CLASSROOM “EMPATHY” KIT:</b><b>  </b> The NEW free Classroom Empathy Kit is ready! The focus of 2018 is on empathy and compassion, and educators, parents and librarians can sign-up to receive the free classroom kit that includes:</p><p>•     List of books to assist on Understanding Immigration and Refugees (for ages 4 -12)</p><p>•     Classroom Immigration/Refugee Activity Guide</p><p>•     “Empathy” Poster from award-winning author Juana Medina</p><p>•     Multicultural Children’s Book Day Poster<br/><b><br/></b></p><p><b>FREE DIVERSITY BOOK LISTS:</b> Curated lists of books about diverse topics including: countries, religions, holidays, ethnicities, in addition to special needs and LGBTQ.</p><p><b>SHARE HOW YOU ARE CELEBRATING</b><b>: </b> Enter your reading event on the new Online Classroom Event Coordinator to make sure your classroom gets materials they need (bookmarks, pencils, stickers). Those teachers who do have a celebration in the classroom, and send in a picture of their party, will receive 3 free diverse books and a swag pack as a Thank You. Enter your event info HERE (<a href="" target="_blank"></a>)</p><p><b>HOW TO CELEBRATE ON JANUARY 27th:</b></p><p>•   <b>FREE BOOK BUNDLE GIVEAWAYS ON TWITTER</b> @MCChildsBookDay— Join the Twitter Party from 9pm to 10pm EST on Jan. 27 were the founders of Multicultural Children’s Book Day will talk about the state of diversity in children’s books.  Free book bundles will be given away every 6 minutes. Use #ReadYourWorld.  </p><p>• <b>FREE MULTICULTURAL BOOKS FOR TEACHERS</b>  Educators and librarians can enter to receive a free diversity book for their school/classroom library (while supplies last). Books donated by honorary sponsor, Junior Library Guild. </p><p>•   <b>FOLLOW THE BOOK REVIEW “LINKY</b>” @ <a href="" target="_blank"></a> where more than 400 bloggers/book reviewers will be posting and sharing their book reviews of diverse children’s books. There will be a book review Linky organized by social platform: Facebook, Blog, Instagram YouTube.  Follow the MCBD blog and all platforms to check out the book reviews throughout the day. </p><p>To learn more about Multicultural Children’s Book Day (501c3), visit <a href="" target="_blank"></a>. Follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.</p><p><b>About Multicultural Children’s Book Day:</b></p><p>This year marks the 5th annual<b> </b>Multicultural Children’s Book Day, (MCBD) and the program continues to grow with last year, generating more than <b>3.8 billion social media share impressions </b>over three days (before, during, after).  It’s the brainchild of two women, bloggers and authors, Mia Wenjen (Pragmatic Mom) and Valerie Budayr (Jump into Books). This year, the organization has enlisted more than <b>400 bloggers/book reviewers </b>from around the country. </p><p>The founders also created an ebook, “Read Your World: A Parent and Educators Guide to Multicultural Children’s Books and Activities”<b>(2017). </b>The book features a comprehensive guide of diverse book titles for kids of all ages, compiled by an esteemed group of 20 bloggers and 2 authors. The eBook will be available for free during Multicultural Children’s Book week and will also be available as a fundraiser on Amazon for $4.99. </p><p><b>About the Founders:</b></p><p><b>Mia Wenjen</b> is a mom and founder of PragmaticMom, a blog about education, parenting and children’s book (particularly diverse reads). Wenjen is a Harvard grad with a love of children’s books (picture books through middle grade) and sneaking in teachable moments in art, science, math, foreign language and language arts. Mia is passionate about getting kids excited about reading and helping parents ensure that their child is successful at school. Mia is half Japanese and half Chinese American and married to a Korean American. She lives near Boston. </p><p><b>Valarie Budayr</b> is a mom, CEO of Audrey Press, and founder of Jump Into a Book blog, and  is a best-selling children’s author of The Fox Diaries: The Year the Foxes Came to our Garden, A Year in The Secret Garden , The Ultimate Guide To Charlie and The Chocolate Factory and Dragons Are Real. She is passionate about making kid’s books come alive and is proud to be a play and reading advocate. Valarie’s mission is to inspire young readers, educators, families and communities, to experience our world together while having fun.  Valarie is Muslim, originally from Sweden and speaks 5 languages including Arabic.  Valarie resides in Tennessee.</p><p>To request interviews or information/images, please contact Sara Sinek- Toborowsky at <a href="" target="_blank"></a> or 917-215-1779.</p><p># # # </p>, 08 Jan 2018 12:53:22 -0500Author Q&A with Carole Boston Weatherford<p><b>Why did you choose Arturo Schomburg as a subject?</b></p><p>My mission as an author is to mine the past for family stories, fading traditions and forgotten struggles. Add to that unsung heroes. When my friend and frequent collaborator Eric Velasquez pitched the idea of a Schomburg biography to me, I was intrigued. Like Schomburg, Eric has roots in Africa and Puerto Rico. I detected Eric’s passion for the project and I could not refuse. I believe this is the book that Eric was born to create. Even though the book had a ten year gestation, I am honored that Eric asked me to collaborate. This is our fifth book together.</p><p><b>When did you first learn about Schomburg?</b></p><p>I knew of the Schomburg Center before I knew about the man behind it. I did picture research there in the early 1980s. That was long before there were digital archives online. Back then, I had to wear white gloves to handle vintage photographs. I recall being in awe of the Center’s vast holdings. What I did not know is that Schomburg the man was a bibliophile and a leading light of the Harlem Renaissance, a period I first wrote about in <i>Sugar Hill: Harlem’s Historic Neighborhood.</i> That picture book is<i> </i>illustrated by Gregory Christie<i>.</i> </p><!-- more --><p><b>Is there a part of Schomburg’s life story that you especially connect with?</b></p><figure class="tmblr-full" data-orig-height="873" data-orig-width="723"><img src="" class="alignRight" width="200" height="200"/></figure><p>I identify with the young Schomburg whose fifth grade teacher told him African descendants had no history worth noting. That lie spurred Schomburg’s lifelong quest to prove the teacher wrong by documenting African descendants’ countless contributions to civilization. </p><p>Well, I had my own slight at the hands of a teacher. At an exclusive private school in 1969, my eighth grade English class studied Harlem Renaissance literature. I was moved by Countee Cullen’s twelve-line poem “Incident.” The poem relates the sting of racism that an eight year old felt when a white boy called him “nigger” during a trip to Baltimore (my birthplace). I wrote a research paper about Cullen. For the assignment, my English teacher gave me a “B.” Beneath the grade was the comment, “Did you write this?” I was too young then to understand that the teacher was in disbelief that a black student who had come from public school could write so well. Consequently, he suspected plagiarism and gave me the grade that reflected his low expectation of me rather than the grade that I had earned. Ironically, that devaluation left me determined to use the power of my pen to make my voice heard and to affirm my heritage. Like Schomburg, I seek to set the historical record straight.</p><p><b>What item in the Schomburg Center’s holdings do you find most curious or fascinating?</b></p><p>That would have to be Langston Hughes’s ashes which are buried beneath the lobby’s marble floor. Hughes was Schomburg’s contemporary. The Harlem branch of the New York Public Library that housed the Schomburg collection was a haven and inspiration for young black artists and writers of the Harlem Renaissance. I first read Hughes’s poetry in elementary school. His poems were the first I ever read by an African-American writer. I consider him my literary mentor to this day.</p><figure class="tmblr-full" data-orig-height="8" data-orig-width="1325"><img src="" data-orig-height="8" data-orig-width="1325"/></figure><figure class="tmblr-full" data-orig-height="1091" data-orig-width="965"><img src="" class="alignLeft" width="200" height="200"/></figure><p><b>Carole Boston Weatherford</b> is a <i>New York Times </i>best-selling author and poet. Her numerous books for children include the Coretta Scott King Author Award Honor Book <i>Becoming Billie Holiday,</i> illustrated by Floyd Cooper, and the Caldecott Honor Books <i>Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom,</i> illustrated by Kadir Nelson, and <i>Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement,</i> illustrated by Ekua Holmes. Carole Boston Weatherford lives in Fayetteville, North Carolina.</p>, 20 Nov 2017 12:01:30 -0500CBC DiversityCarole Boston WeatherfordCandlewick PressArturo SchomburgHarlem RenaissanceSchomburg CenterAfrican Americankidlitchildren's booksDiverse booksDiverse children's booksWNDBWe Need Diverse BooksQ&A with Author Chitra Soundar<p><b>Do you only write stories from your own cultural background?</b></p><p>For a long time before I was published, I wrote only western stories – stories set in western families about children with western names and their rituals of growing up. This is because subconsciously I was writing what I was reading. As a child and as an adult, I read mostly western narratives and that seeped into my writing. But my heart wasn’t in those stories. It wasn’t my truth. And when I did write stories from India, either set there or about India and Indian characters, I started getting lesser rejections (or at least more personalised ones) because my stories now had the secret ingredient that makes magic – authenticity. For me more than setting the stories in India or in its culture, it is about personal connection. Why do I want to tell this story? Why me? Am I the right person to tell this story? If so, then I would attempt to bring it to life. </p><p><b>Conversely, do you feel restricted in the subjects and settings you can choose?</b></p><figure class="tmblr-full" data-orig-height="362" data-orig-width="318"><img src="" class="alignRight" width="200" height="200"/></figure><p>I’m a nomad. Although I was brought up in India, I have lived in Singapore and now in the UK. I travel a lot and I gather stories where I go. But I always remember that all the stories filter through my own experiences – of what I know and what I don’t. I have fallen in love with folktales from Antwerp and Prague but I worry about retelling them because I’m not sure I would have the depth of the cultural context. Even to retell a small story, I would need tremendous amount of research and understanding. So I pick and choose projects I can actually invest time and energy into. On a side note, India is a big country with language, ethnic and other diversities and I research a lot even to tell Indian stories.</p><!-- more --><p>But I do think based on the publishing history of the UK and the US, it is easier for a Western author to choose any subject from any part of the world to write about than for someone from an ethnic minority background. Somehow history has taught us it is more believable when filtered through the lens of a western narrative. We have to change that, one story at a time.</p><p><b>Are there enough readers for books from different cultures and backgrounds?</b></p><p>Readers are created on the laps of their parents, grandparents and in classrooms. A child’s view of the world is limited to what it knows. Therefore anything new is worth exploring – be it an aeroplane that flies in the sky or a dinosaur that can’t lift its neck. As responsible adults, we have to seek out books that build empathy and understanding of the world. Our children will grow up to be world leaders, peacekeepers or storytellers. They need to know the world as it is – in all its splendour and that means multiple narratives.</p><p>When I go into schools, I mostly meet with children from ages four to ten. I talk to them about my books, my passion for storytelling (I won the storytelling prize when I was seven) and my upbringing in a joint family and they’re fascinated and want to learn more. Children don’t always have to know these places, settings or characters beforehand. If they like the story, their natural curiosity would take over. </p><p>Instead of asking if there are enough readers for diverse books I would ask if there are enough books for diverse readers. Take the simple ritual of going to a new school or to the dentist or celebrating Christmas – there are tons of books featuring animals and children from western backgrounds. But there aren’t that many that feature a minority narrative especially for the younger age-range. If as a child I grow up reading about other cultures, children from single-parent families or children who suffer from an illness or a disability in normal everyday contexts, I would then grow into an adult who appreciates the world I live in a rounded way. It would be more prudent to create citizens who appreciate inclusivity and diversity from a younger age than to somehow magically expect them to have empathy when they are voting adults. So yes, there are young readers out there, waiting to absorb the ways of the world. So let’s ensure that the books we write, publish and read to them are inclusive and representative of the world we live in.</p><figure class="tmblr-full" data-orig-height="8" data-orig-width="1325"><img src="" data-orig-height="8" data-orig-width="1325" alt="image"/></figure><figure class="tmblr-full" data-orig-height="3539" data-orig-width="2654"><img src="" class="alignLeft" width="180" height="180"/></figure><p>Chitra Soundar is the author of over 20 books for children. Her latest book is <i><a href="" target="_blank">Pattan’s Pumpkin</a> – A flood tale from Southern India </i>illustrated by Frané Lessac and published by Candlewick Press. <i>Pattan’s Pumpkin</i> is also the chosen book for October, in the 2017 Read Across America / Reading is Fundamental campaign. Find out more at <a href="" target="_blank"></a> or follow her on Instagram at @<a href="" target="_blank">chitrasoundar</a> and on Twitter at @<a href="" target="_blank">csoundar</a>.</p>, 13 Nov 2017 15:53:27 -0500CBC DiversityChitra SoundarPattan's PumpkinIndiaWNDBCandlewick PressAuthor interviewAuthor Q&AKidlitchildren's booksDiverse bookspicture booksDiversity in Our Digital World: Visual Literacy Across Borders<p><i>By Susan Polos and Janet Wong</i></p><p>The CBC program “Diversity in Our Digital World: Visual Literacy Across Borders” was a great success at the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) regional conference sponsored by USBBY ( at the University of Washington in Seattle, October 20 - 22. The CBC session featured two illustrators, Suzy Lee and Keith Negley, as well as a publishing professional, Tucker Stone.</p><p>Janet Wong, poet and publisher at Pomelo Books, and Susan Polos, school librarian from NY, introduced the panel. Wong and Polos serve as co-chairs of the American Library Association/Children’s Book Council (ALA/CBC) Joint Committee. Coincidentally, both are board members of USBBY, Janet representing the International Literacy Association (ILA) and Susan, ALA. Tucker Stone is also a member of CBC and represents CBC on the USBBY board. CBC’s commitment to diversity, evident in its work and its blog, proved a perfect fit for the conference theme, “Radical Change Beyond Borders—the Transforming Power of Children’s Literature in a Digital Age,” inspired by the work of Eliza Dresang.</p><p>The CBC breakout session opened with an introduction to the work of CBC in the area of diversity. Slides showcasing current CBC Diversity Blog posts made clear to all present that the range of posts, including a storytime guide, authors’ posts, book guides, book lists, Q&As, and more, highlight and encourage diversity in all formats and forms for publishing professionals. Both illustrators selected for this panel, Suzy Lee and Keith Negley, have been featured on the CBC Diversity Blog. Wong explained that one goal of this panel was to expand the discussion of diversity in children’s literature beyond race and ethnicity to feature “diverse thinking” in the creation of children’s books.</p><figure class="tmblr-full" data-orig-height="481" data-orig-width="734"><img src="" class="alignCenter" width="380" height="380" alt="image"/></figure><p><b>Suzy Lee: “It all depends on the readers”</b></p><figure class="tmblr-full" data-orig-height="3366" data-orig-width="2636"><img src="" class="alignRight" width="200" height="200"/></figure><p>Suzy Lee ( shared illustrations from her work and spoke about three of her books, <i>Wave</i>, <i>Shadow</i>, and <i>Lines</i> (published by Chronicle Books). She mentioned the importance of borders in her work both through her use of the physical book’s bindings and gutters and as story tools, taking the reader from a realistic scene to a metaphysical understanding of the artist’s process. She explained how readers of “silent” books can see what she, the illustrator, has intended them to see; readers also bring their own interpretation to the reading. “When there’s no word pointing out what to read, the readers can read more. It’s because the meaning of the image is not fixed. It’s always changing. And it all depends on the readers; they read as they want in their own way.”</p><p>One anecdote that Lee shared involved an autistic boy whose teacher said that when <i>Wave</i> was shared in their classroom, “the room was silent, and [the boy] could hear [the book] in his head … he was captivated.” As Lee noted, this is the kind of moment “when the ‘silent’ picture book shines.”</p><figure data-orig-width="1426" data-orig-height="456" class="tmblr-full"><img src="" class="alignCenter" width="430" height="430"/></figure><p><b></b><b>Keith Negley: “Toxic masculinity has run amok”</b></p><p>Keith Negley ( worked as an illustrator and designer for magazines before writing and illustrating children’s books published by Flying Eye, the children’s imprint of Nobrow, an international publishing company. Negley’s books, while not wordless, tell stories primarily through illustration and contain minimal text.</p><figure class="tmblr-full" data-orig-height="782" data-orig-width="666"><img src="" class="alignLeft" width="170" height="170" alt="image"/></figure><figure class="tmblr-full" data-orig-height="839" data-orig-width="1429"><img src="" class="alignCenter" width="320" height="320" alt="image"/></figure><p>He shared work from two published books, <i>Tough Guys Don’t Cry</i> and <i>My Dad Used to Be So Cool</i>, as well as a forthcoming book, <i>Mary Wears What She Wants</i> (Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins). Negley wants to break barriers of gender expectations, showing that both boys and girls can resist the stereotypical boxes—and to show dads who are affectionate and sensitive.</p><figure class="tmblr-full" data-orig-height="360" data-orig-width="640"><img src="" class="alignCenter" width="320" height="320" alt="image"/></figure><p><b>Tucker Stone: “Helping small publishers get the word out”</b></p><p>Tucker Stone anchored our panel with a reminder that our real challenge, when it comes to diverse children’s literature, is with distribution. </p><figure class="tmblr-full" data-orig-height="290" data-orig-width="460"><img src="" class="alignRight" width="300" height="300" alt="image"/></figure><p>Stone spoke both of his former position as US Sales & Marketing Director with Nobrow US/Flying Eye Books, as well as his current work as Client Marketing Manager for Children’s and Comic titles for Ingram’s Consortium Book Sales & Distribution. In this new role, Stone strives to communicate the interests of international readers to independent publishers and to promote the titles he represents.</p><p><b>USBBY’s Outstanding International Books (OIB) Lists</b></p><p>Suzy Lee’s first book was signed during a visit to the Bologna Children’s Book Fair. She advises international authors and illustrators to go to Bologna and to learn from the editors and agents there, if possible. “Bologna was a real-wonderland … I was amazed at the various perspectives and styles” of the international books on display. For advocates of diverse books who are not familiar with international books and are unable to travel to Bologna, Wong and Polos recommend downloading USBBY’s annual Outstanding International Books lists for the past decade (<a href="" target="_blank"></a>). International books provide a valuable glimpse of additional approaches to celebrating diversity.</p><figure class="tmblr-full" data-orig-height="8" data-orig-width="1325"><img src="" data-orig-height="8" data-orig-width="1325" alt="image"/></figure><p><i>Susan Polos is a School Librarian in the Bedford Central School District. Janet Wong is a poet and co-founder of Pomelo Books (, a CBC member. Together, they serve as co-chairs of the ALA-CBC Joint Committee.</i></p>, 01 Nov 2017 12:50:29 -0400CBC DiversityALA-CBC CommitteeWNDBJanet WongSusan PolosTucker StoneSuzy LeeKeith NegleyFlying Eye BooksChronicle BooksHarper CollinsBalzer & Braychildren's booksdiverse booksIBBYUSBYYkidlitQ&A with Author Nic Stone<p><b>1)  </b><b><i>Why do you think there’s such a </i>dearth<i> of diverse children’s books?</i></b></p><p>In a couple of words: white supremacy. The fact that there are more books published about animals than about black kids says a lot, not only about <i>our</i> society, but about “Western” sensibilities and colonization on the whole. About the perception of “race” and the role of literacy in the development of societal hierarchies. The English staked their claim on land in various places around the world and forced the people in those places to learn the English language, but literature and the arts were reserved for members of the highest social classes. Who were all white.</p><p>The fact that we’re almost two decades into the 21<sup>st</sup> Century and <i>just now</i> beginning to see books written in English that reflect the realities of the English-speaking world says a lot about who, historically, has been expected—or even <i>allowed</i>—to achieve English literacy. When all the business-related rhetoric is stripped away (“Those types of books statistically don’t sell well.” “The numbers don’t suggest that this would be a good investment.”), the implications are that 1) certain groups of people don’t read and 2) the people who <i>do</i> read wouldn’t want to read about x-type of people. The marginalized wind up doubting the validity of their very existence, and the privileged continue to see themselves as the protagonists of the only stories that matter. I’m sure I don’t have to explain why this is detrimental to everyone.<!-- more --></p><figure class="tmblr-full" data-orig-height="475" data-orig-width="315"><img src="" class="alignRight" width="200" height="200"/></figure><p><b>2)  </b><b><i>In your opinion, has the call for more diverse children’s books been answered?</i></b></p><p>Kind of. I’d say it’s <i>being</i> answered. Slowly. I do find it disheartening that there are still people who think the diversity thing is a “trend”… again, says a lot about the status quo and privilege and white supremacy, but a glance at the New York Times bestseller list for ANY week over the past year should make it crystal clear that diverse books <i>do</i> sell and people <i>do</i> want to read them.</p><p>On the whole, I can definitely say more books are being acquired from marginalized authors writing marginalized characters, and I really hope it continues. As I hinted at above, I think literature plays a major role in shaping social norms and informing the way people treat one another because books are integral to the development of empathy. More “diverse” books—aka books that reflect the reality of our very diverse world—means more people who see and accept that reality. That’s what we’re working towards, and it’s encouraging to see progress.</p><p><b>3)  </b><b><i>What more needs to be done?</i></b></p><p>I’d personally love to see more books that address intersectionality. I am a queer, Christian black woman in a relationship with a biracial Jewish man, and one of our best friends is a trans woman. But there’s no way I’d be permitted to touch on <i>all</i> of those areas of marginalization and how they interact in a single novel. It’d be “too much,” and I’d have to focus only on one or two things (Race? Religion? Gender? Sexuality?). What I’m saying here is that we often still treat marginalized aspects of people’s identities as “issues” to be addressed. There’s this push to make race or sexuality or religion—whatever it is that makes a character different from the “norm”—central to the plot. The beauty of books is that in addition to reflecting reality, they also have the power to <i>shape</i> it. So when we reach the point where characters can exist in a story just as themselves without their “otherness” being a big deal, we’ll have arrived, in a sense, both in books and in the world at large. This is why books that feature intersectionality are so important, and why I’ve made it <i>my</i> goal to write these types of books going forward. Spoiler alert (kinda): my next book features kids of color grappling with questions about their sexualities, but at its core, the book is about navigating the intersections of friendship and romance.</p><p>Aka, its just kids being kids.</p><figure class="tmblr-full" data-orig-height="8" data-orig-width="1325"><img src="" data-orig-height="8" data-orig-width="1325"/></figure><figure class="tmblr-full" data-orig-height="3385" data-orig-width="2511"><img src="" class="alignLeft" width="200" height="200"/></figure><p><i>New York Times</i> bestselling author <b>Nic Stone</b> was born and raised in a suburb of Atlanta, GA, and the only thing she loves more than an adventure is a good story about one. After graduating from Spelman College, she worked extensively in teen mentoring and lived in Israel for a few years before returning to the US to write full-time. Growing up with a wide range of cultures, religions, and backgrounds, Stone strives to bring these diverse voices and stories to her work. You can find her goofing off and/or fangirling over her husband and sons on most social media platforms as @getnicced.</p>, 27 Oct 2017 17:19:03 -0400CBC DiversityNic StoneDear MartinCrown Books for Young ReadersRandom House Children's BooksWNDBWe Need Diverse BooksDiverse Children's BooksDiverse BooksYA litYoung adult