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Reflections on Black Children’s Literature: A Historical Perspective

The ideas expressed below were originally written in response to an opinion piece written by publisher Denene Millner, which ran in The New York Times on March 10, 2018. Though most of the write-up below speaks to this particular opinion article, it has been slightly modified to address some of the expressed viewpoints in her […]

An Interview with Denene Millner

In 2016 Chicago-based Agate Publishing announced the launch of a new line under its Bolden Books imprint dedicated to the work of African American authors. Writer, editor, journalist, and founder of the parenting website MyBrownBaby.com, Denene Millner began her eponymous imprint at Agate as “a love letter to children of color who deserve to see […]

“To Be Great, Heroic or Beautiful”: The Enduring Legacy of The Brownies’ Book

Heretofore the education of the Negro child has been too much in terms of white people. All through school life his text-books contain much about white people and little or nothing about his own race. All the pictures he sees are of white people. Most of the books he reads are by white authors, and […]

An Interview with Kishonna L. Gray

We need diverse books…and diverse games and diverse media. Game studies and comparative media studies expert Dr. Kishonna L. Gray, assistant professor in the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Arizona State University, spoke with Horn Book executive editor Elissa Gershowitz and elementary school librarian Liz Phipps Soeiro about representation and diversity in electronic […]

Foreign Correspondence: Beyond the “Four Fs”: Caribbean Own Voices

In 2013 Deborah Ahenkorah, cofounder and executive director of Golden Baobab (a social enterprise aimed at promoting African children’s literature), wrote an article in The Huffington Post titled “Where Are the Stories for African Children?” In it she decried the relative absence of books in which African children could see their physical likenesses, beliefs, and […]

Dear Mrs. Trump

Dear Mrs. Trump, Thank you for the ten Dr. Seuss titles that you sent my school library in recognition of this year’s National Read a Book Day. (Sent second-day air, no less! That must have been expensive.) I’m proud that you recognized my school as something special. It truly is. Our beautiful and diverse student […]

“Dear Mrs. Trump” booklist

Mrs. Trump, you sent ten picture books, so I will recommend ten as well — but there are so many more! My wish is that these books will help you see:  the beautiful resilience of children who stand up to racism and oppression and for social justice and reform; children who are trying to connect […]

On “The CCBC’s Diversity Statistics” (from 2017)

The Cooperative Children’s Book Center at the University of Wisconsin–Madison has been tracking the number of children’s books created by people of color since 1985. In an interview that will be published in the July/August 2017 issue of The Horn Book Magazine, book review editor Martha V. Parravano talks with CCBC director Kathleen T. Horning […]

The CCBC’s Diversity Statistics: A Conversation with Kathleen T. Horning

The Cooperative Children’s Book Center (a research library of the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Education) began documenting the numbers of children’s books by African American authors and illustrators in 1985 — when then–CCBC director Ginny Moore Kruse, serving on the Coretta Scott King Book Awards Jury, learned that of the approximately 2500 trade books […]

Another look at “A Second Look”

Rereading a favorite book from childhood can be a bittersweet experience. Part of what’s so fulfilling about the practice of rereading is that you’re a different reader each time. Your increased knowledge of the story, literature at large, yourself, and/or the world makes subsequent readings of the same story and the same characters richer. On […]