When children see their lives reflected in the books they read they become more enthusiastic readers. Their educational outcomes improve. They succeed in school and in life.
But few books actually reflect the cultures and circumstances of the kids First Book serves, all of whom live in low-income households and many of whom are of minority backgrounds. In fact, a mere 11 percent of 3,500 children’s books reviewed by Cooperative Children’s Book Center this year are about people of color.
This is the reason we created the Stories for All ProjectTM – the only market-driven solution to increase diverse voices and promote inclusivity in children’s literature.
Today, we’re proud to share our latest news with you: With support from Target, KPMG and Jet Blue Airways, First Book is making 60,000 copies of outstanding children’s titles featuring diverse characters and storylines available for the first time ever in affordable trade paperback format, to fuel learning and educational equity.
We chose these titles from hundreds submitted by publishers with input from the 175,000 educators and program leaders we serve. By aggregating the demand and purchasing power of this educator community, we have become the first organization to create a viable and vibrant market for books that reflect race, ability, sexual orientation and family structure in our ever-diversifying world.
Each of our selections contributes unique perspectives underrepresented in children’s literature while remaining relatable to all readers. As part of this current effort, First Book is thrilled to make available two titles by new picture book authors:
- “Niño Wrestles the World” written and illustrated by Yuyi Morales
- “And Tango Makes Three” written by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell and illustrated by Henry Cole
- “Tiger in My Soup” written by Kashmira Sheth and illustrated by Jeffrey Ebbeler
- “Boats for Papa” written and illustrated by new author/illustrator Jessixa Bagley
- “Emmanuel’s Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah,” written by first-time children’s author Laurie Ann Thompson and illustrated by Sean Qualls,
- “Knock Knock: My Dad’s Dream for Me,” written by Daniel Beaty and illustrated by Bryan Collier
Copies of all six titles will be available through the First Book Marketplace. The first three titles are also available for the first time in paperback format on Target.com and at Target stores nationwide.
Every day, in communities around the country and around the world, we see the critical need to further our human understanding and embrace the gifts and experience each of us brings. The Stories for All Project and promotes understanding, empathy and inclusivity with stories that can help all children see and celebrate their differences and similarities.
The post The Stories for All Project: 60,000 New Books to Increase Diversity, Promote Inclusivity appeared first on First Book Blog.
The American Library Association (ALA) has released its annual list of the most frequently challenged library books of the year. Sherman Alexie’s National Book Award-winning young adult novel, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, claimed the top spot.
Throughout the year 2014, the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom received 311 reports of challenged books. Click here to check out an infographic that explores “Banned Books Through History.”
Here’s an excerpt from the ALA report: “The lack of diverse books for young readers continues to fuel concern…A current analysis of book challenges recorded by ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) from 2001 – 2013, shows that attempts to remove books by authors of color and books with themes about issues concerning communities of color are disproportionately challenged and banned. A challenge is defined as a formal, written complaint filed with a library or school requesting that a book or other material be restricted or removed because of its content or appropriateness.”
10 Most Frequently Challenged Library Books of 2014
1. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
2. Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
3. And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell with illustrations by Henry Cole
4. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
5. It’s Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris
6. Saga written by Brian Vaughan and illustrated by Fiona Staples
7. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
8. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
9. A Stolen Life by Jaycee Dugard
10. Drama by Raina Telgemeier
Why is a raven like a writing desk?* More on topic, how is a bad query sent to an editor like a personal ad? Last April The Rejectionist sought to answer this very question in Love is Like a Bottle of Query and I couldn’t help but figure that it would make a superb Valentine’s Day link for you all.
That seems insufficient fodder for today’s post, though. So just for the heckuvit, here is a list of my favorite romantic picture books. Howsoever you wish to interpret them.
The Duchess of Whimsy by Randall de Seve, illustrated by Peter de Seve – Not only was it written by a husband and wife team (an inherently romantic proposition) but it also features one of my favorite love stories. You have a Duchess who is only interested in whimsical things and the practical fellow who loves her. I’m a fan. Plus it’s a real treat to the old eyeballs.
The Marzipan Pig by Russell Hoban – The saddest Valentine’s Day book on this list and long out of print. Nevertheless I love that book, and I love the little film that was made of it long long ago. You can catch a section of it here if you like:
The Owl and the Pussycat by Edward Lear, illustrated by Stephane Jorisch – I understand that there are as many different picture book versions of this book as there are drops of water in the sea. Everyone from Hilary Knight to James Marshall has adapted this poem at some point (probably because it’s the rare standalone poem that converts to the picture book format so easily). My personal favorite amongst these versions, however, is Jorisch’s. This isn’t just a story about two different species getting together. No, in Jorisch’s world it’s two different lifestyles. The owl is all buttoned up business suit and the cat this Greenwich Village, thick soled boot-wearing artist. Yet impossibly they get together and wed. How awesome is that?!
Henry in Love by Peter McCarty – A love story appropriate for the schoolyard set. More of a crush really. In this sweet tale a little cat has a crush on a rabbit in his class. They reach a mutual understanding all thanks to a bright blue muffin. Aside from making me hungry for muffins (particularly those of irregular colors) McCarty employs a really gorgeous pen to the illustrations in this book. Little wonder it appeared on the
5 Comments on Happy Valentine’s Day!!, last added: 2/15/2011