Philosophy and Mission
We believe very strongly that representation matters especially in children’s literature and picture books. We believe that ALL children deserve to see themselves in media. The underrepresentation of BIPOC characters in children’s picture books and children’s literature is significant, and we want to change the narrative of the kind of books selected for children’s events. Our country is a wonderful mix of many beautiful cultures from around the globe, and the children in this country should know that it is possible to access books with characters who look like them.
Recent analysis of the main character diversity in children’s books from the 2018 Diverse Book Finder organization based in Lewiston, Maine showed that the main character in picture books were 21% of an unspecified race, 13.5% were Black or African-American, 9.8% were Asian, Asian-American or Pacific Islander, 4.4 % were Mixed Race, 3.9% were Latinx, 3.5% were Indigenous, and 1.7% were Middle Eastern, North African, or Arab. Remaining titles from this 2018 study had no main character or the main character was White. Additionally, the 2019 Stats from the Cooperative Children’s Book Center showed that 41.8% of main characters are White, 29.2% are Animal/Other, 11.9% are Black/African, 8.7% are Asian/American, 5.3% are Latinx, and 1.05% are Native American/Pacific Islander. These numbers are getting better over the past two decades, and one of our hopes for showcasing diverse books is that as BIPOC children grow up, many will become authors, writing their own stories and the stories of people who look like them for the next generations.