You are currently browsing the monthly archive for September 2016.

diversityinchildrensbooks2015_f

Thank you.

We are blown away by the response to our CCBC infographicMany have long been advocating for diversity in children’s literature; as we’d hoped, this infographic is pushing this work along. Since September 14, the blog post has had over 36,000 views; my initial tweet made over 17,000 impressions; my Facebook post was shared over 10,000 times, including by writers Cynthia Leitich Smith, Zetta Elliott, Mike Jung, Ellen Oh, and Junot Díaz. Professors, teachers, librarians, and students – from K-12 through graduate courses at universities and public libraries across the US and the world – are printing, sharing, displaying, and discussing the infographic.

Of course, with so much visibility came many questions.

Sarah Hannah Gómez pointed out the difference between the white category in the 2012 infographic, and ours, which uses data from 2015. She noted that it may cause folks to think we have made progress. But actually, David included the bunny to show that a significant percentage of children’s literature depicts animals and inanimate objects (trucks, cupcakes, screws, etc.) as protagonists, something CCBC Director KT Horning wrote about in her 2013 blog post “I See White People.” The 2012 infographic, created prior to Horning’s 2013 post, does not reflect this, so the numbers are not exactly aligned.

Many people wondered about categorization. Where are South Asians? Why are Pacific Islanders included with Asians? Where are Jewish people? etc. Categorizing people (and books) into groups is difficult work. After some discussion, we decided to use pretty much the same category titles as the CCBC; you can read more on their website about how they categorize.

The CCBC’s data includes distinct categories for books by, and for books about, each of the demographics they count. The about category may, or may not, include a book in the by category (this happens when an Asian American writer, for example, writes a book that is not about Asian Americans.) For our infographic, we used only the about data. It is vitally important to note that this data does not reflect the quality, accuracy, etc. of the books themselves. It is also vitally important to to note that the number of books about and written and illustrated by #OwnVoices authors is significantly lower.

Our hope is that people will continue to ask questions and do the work that will uncover more information. See Debbie Reese’s post “A Close Look at CCBC’s 2015 Data on Books By/About Americans Indians/First Nations” for one example of how a scholar unpacked the data, and Jerrold Connors’ post “We Need Diverse Books, and How!” for some more graphs. As many have done with our infographic, read everything critically. Who is saying what? What is left unsaid? What more needs to be done?

In short, we still have much work to do.

Note: We made the infographic with a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 license, so you may download a JPF and PDF here.

Recommended citation: Huyck, David, Sarah Park Dahlen, Molly Beth Griffin. (2016 September 14). Diversity in Children’s Books 2015 infographic. sarahpark.com blog. Retrieved from https://readingspark.wordpress.com/2016/09/14/picture-this-reflecting-diversity-in-childrens-book-publishing/

Advertisements

At the 2016 ALA Annual Conference, author Tameka Fryer Brown presented the Cooperative Children’s Book Center’s (CCBC) multicultural publishing statistics during the panel “Celebrating Diversity: The Brown Bookshelf Salutes Great Books for Kids.” She displayed Tina Kügler’s oft-cited 2012 infographic, with the comment that even though the numbers are now 4 years old, the image communicated inequity in publishing so well that she would use it at every opportunity.

Just before ALA Annual, St. Catherine University MLIS Program assistant professor Sarah Park Dahlen had posted to Facebook asking if anyone knew of an updated illustration, but Kügler’s was the only one anyone knew about. Friends said they would be happy to support an illustrator to create an update. Author/teacher Molly Beth Griffin saw Sarah’s post and queried her Twin Cities Picture Book Salon to see if anyone would be interested; David Huyck (pronounced “hike”) responded, and a project was born.

The Minnesota children’s literature community is a vibrant group. Although it is comprised mainly of white authors, illustrators, and editors, many are working to promote anti-biased and anti-racist children’s literature, support writers and artists from underrepresented communities, and remove barriers to inclusivity. In the spirit of this collaborative ethic and allyship, for the past couple months, David, Sarah, and Molly have been working together to produce an illustration that communicates updated and more detailed CCBC data. Emails have been flying back and forth – Sarah sent David a few links (including Debbie Reese’s storify of K.T. Horning’s SLJ webinar), David dug deeper and sent back questions and sketches, Molly and Sarah offered feedback, and Sarah consulted K.T. Horning, Debbie Reese, Edith Campbell, and Ebony Elizabeth Thomas, and round and round the conversation went, until…

diversityinchildrensbooks2015_f

Illustration ©2016 David Huyck, in consultation with Sarah Park Dahlen and Molly Beth Griffin

Link to JPG & PDF files2015 Diversity in Children’s Books – Dropbox Folder

Full citation: Huyck, David, Sarah Park Dahlen, Molly Beth Griffin. (2016 September 14). Diversity in Children’s Books 2015 infographic. sarahpark.com blog. Retrieved from https://readingspark.wordpress.com/2016/09/14/picture-this-reflecting-diversity-in-childrens-book-publishing/
Statistics compiled by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center, School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison: http://ccbc.education.wisc.edu/books/pcstats.asp
Released for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 license
* Please email David to inquire about printing the infographic this in a book.

David created this with a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 license so that Tameka, Sarah, and others working toward equity in children’s literature publishing may freely use it. We hope that this infographic, along with Lee & Low’s Diversity Gap blog posts, Debbie Reese’s blog American Indians in Children’s Literature, Edith Campbell and Zetta Elliott’s blogs, We Need Diverse Books, Reading While White, and other diversity initiatives, can help push forward important conversations and lead to real change in children’s literature publishing.

We thank our many friends who generously donated to compensate David for his work, and we thank David for his thoughtful and creative image.

David Huyck, Illustrator
davidhuyck.com/
@huyckd

Sarah Park Dahlen, Assistant Professor at St. Catherine University’s MLIS Program
http://sarahpark.com/
@readingspark

Molly Beth Griffin, Author and Teacher
http://mollybethgriffin.com/
@mbgriffinbooks

NOTE: I published a “Picture This Follow Up”  https://readingspark.wordpress.com/2016/09/23/picture-this-follow-up/

wordpress visitors