Children are constantly making comparisons, seeing similarities and differences in the world around them. When they see themselves reflected in books they read, it helps them get a sense of belonging – it helps them to be seen.
Did you know that
- 37% of children in the US identify themselves as multicultural, yet only about 10-15% of the children’s books have characters that look like them
- 10% of children’s books are written by people of color
- 3-4% of children’s books have characters from Asia Pacific
Children start to form their world views from the books they read. We need stories that multicultural kids identify with. We need characters that look like them, eat foods like them and do things like them.
We also need books that invite everyone to have a glimpse into different cultures. We need stories that widen our perception of normal. We need characters that encourage children to ask questions and build a healthy curiosity of the world around them.
Children’s books give an excellent starting point for a parent-child conversation of accepting and celebrating differences. It gives an opportunity for all children and parents to become global citizens.
With my upcoming book, I would like to give a sense of identity and belonging to children of color. I also hope to present some nuggets of South Asian culture to a wider audience.