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…
Illustration ©2016 David Huyck, in consultation with Sarah Park Dahlen and Molly Beth Griffin
Link to JPG & PDF files: 2015 Diversity in Children’s Books – Dropbox FolderFull 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: https://ccbc.education.wisc.edu/literature-resources/ccbc-diversity-statistics/books-by-about-poc-fnn/Released for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 license* Please email David to inquire about printing this infographic 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.
NOTE: I published a “Picture This Follow Up” https://readingspark.wordpress.com/2016/09/23/picture-this-follow-up/