Today’s blog post is part of our Stories For All Project series, focused on sharing the latest announcements and impact stories about our effort to put diverse, inclusive books into the hands of kids.
When children see their lives reflected in the books they read they become more enthusiastic readers. Their educational outcomes improve. They succeed in school and in life.
But few books actually reflect the cultures and circumstances of the kids First Book serves, all of whom live in low-income households and many of whom are of minority backgrounds. In fact, a mere 11 percent of 3,500 children’s books reviewed by Cooperative Children’s Book Center this year are about people of color.
This is the reason we created the Stories for All ProjectTM – the only market-driven solution to increase diverse voices and promote inclusivity in children’s literature.
Today, we’re proud to share our latest news with you: With support from Target, KPMG and Jet Blue Airways, First Book is making 60,000 copies of outstanding children’s titles featuring diverse characters and storylines available for the first time ever in affordable trade paperback format, to fuel learning and educational equity.
We chose these titles from hundreds submitted by publishers with input from the 175,000 educators and program leaders we serve. By aggregating the demand and purchasing power of this educator community, we have become the first organization to create a viable and vibrant market for books that reflect race, ability, sexual orientation and family structure in our ever-diversifying world.
Each of our selections contributes unique perspectives underrepresented in children’s literature while remaining relatable to all readers. As part of this current effort, First Book is thrilled to make available two titles by new picture book authors:
- “Niño Wrestles the World” written and illustrated by Yuyi Morales
- “And Tango Makes Three” written by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell and illustrated by Henry Cole
- “Tiger in My Soup” written by Kashmira Sheth and illustrated by Jeffrey Ebbeler
- “Boats for Papa” written and illustrated by new author/illustrator Jessixa Bagley
- “Emmanuel’s Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah,” written by first-time children’s author Laurie Ann Thompson and illustrated by Sean Qualls,
- “Knock Knock: My Dad’s Dream for Me,” written by Daniel Beaty and illustrated by Bryan Collier
Copies of all six titles will be available through the First Book Marketplace. The first three titles are also available for the first time in paperback format on Target.com and at Target stores nationwide.
Every day, in communities around the country and around the world, we see the critical need to further our human understanding and embrace the gifts and experience each of us brings. The Stories for All Project and promotes understanding, empathy and inclusivity with stories that can help all children see and celebrate their differences and similarities.