The Elephant in the Room

Elizabeth Bluemle invited several illustrators to contribute to an important article on her blog "Shelf Talker" at Publisher's Weekly this week: The Elephant in the Room. She discusses the lack of racial diversity and white-washing of book covers in children's literature.
     I've always made a point of taking on multi-cultural projects and featuring various races and cultures in my work, so I was thrilled to participate.
     Why? Because children enjoy reading when they can relate to the characters they read about. Without that connection, they often don't become readers, which can set off a string of reactions reducing the possibilities and potential in a child's life. Literacy and a love for reading is vital to success for ALL children.
     And yet, currently, the publishing industry could greatly improve their efforts to reach ALL children.
     Elizabeth B. says it best in her thoughtful and well-researched article which I hope you will GO READ!!!


Laurel said...

Will read!

But also... I really like this picture!

Unknown said...

It's very important for children of color to see other children like them in books and on book covers!

Elizabeth O. Dulemba said...

Thanks Laurel!
And Toni - I couldn't agree more!

Aaron John Curtis said...

I first read about "white washing" covers in Reading in Color, one of the YA blogs linked to at the bottom of the PW article. You don't want to believe it still happens.

A great, positive article - with great illustrations!

Elizabeth O. Dulemba said...

AJC - It is shocking. And hard to believe they still get through the cogs. I tell ya though - they get caught by the public these days and called out! Something to be said for the internet.

WilsonW said...

Thanks so much Elizabeth for calling attention to this type of thing. It is very important that we give all children heroes and muses that they can look up to, identify with and relate to. Thank you for your efforts to participate in inclusive projects that allow all children to enjoy the stories you embellish!


Elizabeth O. Dulemba said...

Thanks Wilson - I agree! :)

Joanna McDonald said...

Love your illustration!!!

Elizabeth O. Dulemba said...

Thanks Joanna! :) e