A new children’s book club has launched this week, following a recent report that only 4% of children’s books published in 2017 featured characters who were of black and minority ethnic origin.
The report, Reflected Realities’, authored by the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education surveyed children’s books published in the last year for ethnic representation and inclusion and discovered despite 32% of children in school being from BAME backgrounds, this was not reflected in the books available to children.
Little Box of Books is a brand-new subscription book service that works closely with publishers all over the world to find children’s books that feature a diverse cast of characters, show a mix of family set ups, characters with disabilities and smash gender stereotypes.
It has been created by two parents who recognised a lack of representation in children’s books after reading to their child.
Director and founder Lynsey Pollard said,
“As far as labels go, we are a blended family. Step parents don’t get a good press in children’s books and we wanted to change that. We founded Little Box of Books as a service to find those books that better reflect society and get them into the hands of children. Children deserve to feel validated and ‘normal’ and see their lives in the books they read.
The organisation has been welcomed by others in the publishing industry, already committed to producing high quality, representative children’s books.
Delaram Ghanimifard, Publisher and owner at Tiny Owl said,
“This initiative from Little Box of Books is really welcome to an industry that needs to embrace diversity and provide books that better reflect our society. We are really excited to be part of it!”
The organisation hopes to build a base of subscribers that will create a demand for stories that they believe will be more representative, widening the audience for books that have smaller marketing budgets and less perceived commercial demand.
“The UK is such a place of diversity, we have millions of children who are of black and minority ethnic origin who need to see themselves in books. We have over a million children living in step families, children who don’t live with a Mum and a Dad, 800,000 disabled children who just don’t see themselves in children’s books. Little Box of Books will not only help children to understand their place in the world and help them recognise their potential but help others see into their lives and grow in understanding and respect. “ said Lynsey Pollard.
To subscribe, head to www.littleboxofbooks.co.uk/subscribe