Lee and Low’s blog is asking a good question: “Why hasn’t the number of multicultural books increased in eighteen years?” They have assembled a good variety of responses, and I have two more, one only semi-facetious and one perhaps semi-impolitic:
Semi-facetious response: While the blog states the disparity between the non-white population in this country (37% of the whole) and the percentage of children’s books with “multicultural content” (hovering around 10% over the last eighteen years), I want to know what percentage of children’s books are in the first place about people (as opposed to talking rabbits or outer space, for example). Things may look worse than they are.
Semi-impolitic response: The Coretta Scott King Awards have been both blessing and curse. Blessing, because they have allowed some amazing books to have been published that probably would not have been otherwise; and curse, because they have straitened publishers’ ideas about what a good “multicultural book” should be: earnest, good-for-you, and preferably historical. We need more rubbish!