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We Need Diverse Books…in elementary schools

Am I the last person to know about the partnership between Scholastic Book Club and We Need Diverse Books? From what I can tell, the two organizations have been collaborating since 2015, though I’m pretty sure our school hasn’t sent home any designated WNDB flyers until last month. Or maybe they have — I don’t […]

Why Stop at Windows and Mirrors?: Children’s Book Prisms

It has been twenty-nine years since Rudine Sims Bishop’s seminal essay “Mirrors, Windows, and Sliding Glass Doors” was published. Speaking to the lack of children’s books with African American characters and themes, the essay called for books to act as windows and mirrors that would allow all children to see themselves and the experiences of […]

“Love Your Neighbor” booklist series from the Association of Jewish Libraries

Following the October 2018 gun murders at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, and in response to rising anti-Semitism in the United States, the Association of Jewish Libraries began compiling a series of themed booklists for children, families, and communities. The “Love Your Neighbor” series includes four lists: List #1 Standing Up for Each […]

The Writer’s Page: “Speak with Us, Not for Us”

KidLitWomen* was co-founded by Grace Lin and Karen Blumenthal in March 2017, with the mission of “calling attention to the gender inequities of our industry, uplifting the women who have not received their due, and finding solutions to reach equality.” The following article expands on a KidLitWomen* social media post by Lin. Many of my […]

Francie at Frugal

On Saturday, I went to Frugal Bookstore for Francie Latour‘s “Auntie Luce Holiday Book Event.” Francie is the author of Auntie Luce’s Talking Paintings, illustrated by Ken Daley (Groundwood), inspired by Haitian artist Luce Turnier (1924-1994). She’s also one half of Wee The People (with Tanya Nixon-Silberg): Wee The People (WTP) is a Boston-based social […]

Association of Jewish Libraries “Love Your Neighbor” Book List #1: Standing Up for Each Other

From the Association of Jewish Libraries: In response to the tragedy at the synagogue in Pittsburgh and to rising anti-Semitism in the United States, the Association of Jewish Libraries offers this series of book lists for young readers. Books read in youth impact future outlooks, and it is our hope that meeting Jews on the […]

Why Sensitivity Readers Matter: (And Why We Should Call Them Something Else)

Last year, one of the controversies that hit the headlines was the use of sensitivity readers in publishing. The New York Times and the Chicago Tribune covered the topic but chose to feature clickbait headlines that included words like outrage and censorship. This led to the usual cacophony of opposing views. Lee & Low Books […]

Jewish Books, Jewish Families

When I was growing up in the 1960s, my family had a book given to us by cousins who had outgrown children’s books. (There are people who do that!). What the Moon Brought by Sadie Rose Weilerstein, illustrated by Mathilda Keller, was first released in 1942 by the Jewish Publication Society. It told the story […]

Devoted to Diversity: Publishers with a Purpose

It’s no secret that mainstream publishing has gaps to fill. The Cooperative Children’s Book Center’s annual statistics show that the numbers of books published about people of color and First/Native Nations people are disproportionately low, and books by members of these groups are even lower in number. (See the July/August 2017 and March/April 2018 Horn […]

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 […]