How do you illustrate race? It’s a complicated question. How do you illustrate Latinx, for example without putting them in ethnic costumes? What about Asians? How do you depict their eyes? I noticed this challenge years ago when I ran the Read Your World celebrating Multicultural Children’s Book Day Instagram account and wanted to highlight illustrations of children of color.
When I visited the Norman Rockwell Museum in the Berkshires, there was a terrific exhibit on this very topic, Imprinted: Illustrating Race. Some of the most famous illustrations depicting race were on display. I hope you enjoy my video.
Norman Rockwell himself spent years creating an illustration that depicted a diverse group of people. I don’t think there are easy answers to illustrating diversity but I am encouraged to see that this is more widely reflected in children’s books.
How about you? What are your favorite children’s books that depict diversity through the illustrations? I think my first experience is Mother Goose illustrated by Gyu Fujikawa, a book I still have in my library!
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Food for the Future: Sustainable Farms Around the World
- Junior Library Guild Gold selection
- Selected as one of 100 Outstanding Picture Books of 2023 by dPICTUS and featured at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair
- Starred review from School Library Journal
BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 is a book that I created to highlight books written by authors who share the same marginalized identity as the characters in their books.