Guest Post from Katia Senff-Director of Publishing, FarFaria
Recently, the lack of diverse books in children’s publishing has been making headlines. A dismal 10% of books published in 2012 contained multicultural content. Yet, 37% of the US population is made up of people of color. A change in children’s publishing is long overdue and publishers like FarFaria are striving to challenge the status quo.
At FarFaria, we take deliberate steps to ensure that our books are as diverse as the children who read them. Because of our own multicultural backgrounds, many of our books explore traditions from around the world, as well as the diversity within our own country. As a result, our books contain a great range of characters.
In 2014, roughly 50% of the books created by FarFaria address the diversity crisis. Our original books, such as “Billy Beedle Superhero”, “Abuelita’s Maracas”, and “The Monster Club”, feature Latino, African American and Asian American children as main characters. In total, FarFaria’s library is comprised of over 150 folktales from around the world, including well-known tales like “Anansi and the Pot of Wisdom,” as well as lesser-known stories like “The Elephant and the Bees” and “The Baobab Tree.”
It is important to us that ‘kids like me’ be represented in our books. By creating a library that embraces diversity we are allowing all children to see themselves and their traditions reflected in the books they read. We plan to continue this effort and hope that other publishers begin to follow suit.
The success of campaigns such as Multicultural Children’s Book Day is an extremely encouraging indicator that children’s publishing is changing. It is imperative that projects like MCCBD and publishers like FarFaria join forces to raise awareness about this issue to see this change continue.
FarFaria, an award winning children’s reading app, offers unlimited reading in a rich, immersive environment. With kids reading an average of over 20 books per week, FarFaria is the top children’s reading mobile app. Created for children ages 2-9, FarFaria offers 900+ diverse titles and new books every week. Available on iOS and Android, FarFaria helps kids develop a passion for reading. Learn more: www.farfaria.com