Our motto, “about everyone, for everyone,” is as urgent today as it was when we started publishing books in 1993. Despite the best efforts of LEE & LOW BOOKS and other publishers and imprints that focus on diversity, the proportion of books that feature racial and ethnic diversity has not increased. For nearly as long as we have been publishing, only about 10 percent of children’s books have contained diverse themes, even though 37 percent of the United States population are identified as people of color.
Even as we are expanding our definition of diversity to include all groups that are underrepresented in children’s books, we continue to be deeply committed to racial and ethnic diversity. As the largest children’s book publisher of diverse books in the US, LEE & LOW recognizes the importance of talking to children about race early and often, and to celebrating authors, illustrators, characters, and readers of diverse backgrounds.
The right book can foster empathy, dispel stereotypes, prompt discussions about race and ethnicity, and inspire children to imagine not only a world that includes them but also a world where they are the heroes of their own stories. Our books serve as both mirrors and windows, enabling children to see themselves, one another, and the diversity of their world.
Browse through our series of articles and resources on the right, follow the conversation on our blog, and don't miss our Diversity Gap Studies series.
Check out The Society of Children’s Books and Illustrators’ article about the development of diversity in children’s publishing and how those interested can contribute to its progress: “Diversity: What Can We Do About It?”
- Writing Cross-Culturally
By Stacy Whitman and Karen Sandler
The quick reference quide to the conversation led on Twitter by Stacy Whitman of Tu Books and Tankborn author Karen Sandler about writing cross-culturally.
- A Dream Conferred: Seven Ways to Explore Race in the Classroom
By Jerry Michel, Principal, Willard School-Evanston
A helpful article with specific advice on productively talking about race in schools.
- Talking to Kids About Race
By Lori Miller Kase
A useful article reprinted with permission from Parents magazine.
- How Diversity Helps Literacy
By LEE & LOW BOOKS
Statistics show that as the United States population becomes increasingly diverse, the need for multicultural books that reflect this diversity becomes more urgent in fostering and sustaining literacy.
- Multicultural Children’s Literature in the Elementary Classroom
By Mei-Yu Lu
Research showing why and how multicultural books enrich the lives of children. Reprinted with permission.
- Beyond Good Intention: Selecting Multicultural Literature
By Joy Shioshita
Practical guidelines for selecting the best multicultural books for your classroom or library. Reprinted by permission.
- The Importance of Multicultural Children's Books
By The Anti-Defamation League
Good multicultural books will challenge stereotypes and promote a realistic glimpse into the lives of diverse groups of people. Reprinted by permission.