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New for New Readers: Beginning Reader Roundup Fall 2023

The most important things we can do as teachers, librarians, caregivers, and book creators are to understand how children acquire ­reading skills and ensure they’re getting access to high-quality books. These books should engage new readers while also systematically providing the opportunity to practice the skills they need to become...

Baby-Testing Board Books: A Report and a Roundup from a Margaret Wise Brown Board Book Award Jury Member

In January, 2023, the first jury of the Margaret Wise Brown Board Book Award met online to select the recipients of this nascent award administered by the Children’s Book Committee at Bank Street College of Education. I was happy to be among this great group of professionals serving on the...

Seeing Ourselves: Write to Preserve, Edit to Protect

Angeline Boulley as a high school senior. Photo courtesy of Angeline Boulley. The first time I read a story that featured a Native American protagonist, I was a high school senior. It was a significant experience for me. As an Ojibwe teen, I hadn’t realized my absence in books until...

Seeing Ourselves: Cherokee DNA Tree of Life: Our Syllabary

Illustration (c) 2023 by Jeff Edwards. The Cherokee language is what ultimately defines us uniquely as Cherokees. We are one of only a very small handful of Native American tribes who have a syllabic writing system. The Cherokee Syllabary was completed by Sequoyah in 1821. His Syllabary contains eighty-six individual...

Seeing Ourselves: The Mannequin of Charles Towne

Eden Royce at age six. Photo courtesy of Eden Royce. Every Saturday when I was a kid, my mother would take me to the mall. Mostly, it was her looking through racks without making a purchase and me fidgeting, desperate to be anywhere else. I found the stores boring, the...

Seeing Ourselves: Our Stories Could Fly: The Future of Books for Black Children

I own a well-read copy of Virginia Hamilton’s The People Could Fly: American Black Folktales. It’s a classic in many households, as it should be. It’s not just the stories that I return to over and over again; it’s the magical illustrations by the dynamic duo Leo and Diane Dillon....

A Publisher's Perspective: Three Decades of Inclusive Publishing

In 1991, when Lee & Low Books was founded, the state of diverse books was bleak. Children of color who grew up in the 1990s (or earlier) rarely saw themselves reflected in the pages of a book. Society’s lack of inclusivity led children of color to bend over backward to...

Seeing Ourselves: QTBIPOC in Abundance

I’ve always said that my wish for diverse books in the future, especially for LGBTQIA+ books — and even more so for QTBIPOC books — is that there will be so many of them that people can walk into a bookstore looking for the most specific niche and still be...

Seeing Ourselves: All Books for All

My hope for the future of diverse children’s literature is that one day, the segregating qualifiers will fall away for good. When my daughter was eight, I remember the two of us combing the library stacks, searching for an appropriate middle-grade book. At some point, a sympathetic librarian asked if...
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