This article was first published at Picture Book Den on 5th Feb 2018.
In the last few years, there has been a positive trend of many independent publishing houses being setup and many of them are inclusive and diverse. While some focus on publishing stories from around the world, others bring work of translation into the UK. And in some cases, new houses are focussing on specific cultures that are under-represented in the UK.
My picture books in the UK are published by three indie houses that support cultural diversity and it is great to know that there are more publishers whose mission is to bring the world to the children here in the UK.
Here is a list I put together based on my own un-scientific research. If you know of any others, please leave their names in the comment section.
I’ll start with the three publishers I’ve worked with:
Otter-Barry Books – Janetta Otter-Barry published both poetry and inclusive books as a publisher at Frances Lincoln and her new venture carries on that tradition with beautiful books for today’s world.
Lantana Publishing – In their own words, “Lantana Publishing is hugely proud to bring UK children’s publishing one step closer towards achievinga more diverse and inclusive children’s book landscape for the next generation of young readers.”
Red Robin Books – while Red Robin Books were originally setup to produce and promote books by Neil Griffiths, they also now produce books by other authors and illustrators. I’m proud to say my Farmer Falgu series have been adopted by Red Robin Books in the UK.
I haven’t worked with the publishers listed below, but I’ve heard wonderful things about them and know many of them personally. They work really hard to give voice to the voiceless.
Alanna Max – In their own words, “We are passionate about children’s books and we believe everyone loves a good story! However, some children struggle to find books in which they see themselves and their experiences. So we aim to produce stories that are naturally inclusive of a wide range of people and experiences – so ALL children can enjoy them.”
Tiny Owl Books – The books they publish…”give children unique perspectives on universal themes such as love, friendship and freedom and a greater awareness of the diverse and colourful world we live in.”
FireTree Books – Verna Wilkins is back and she has renewed her commitment to inclusive books at her latest venture FireTree Books. Her first publishing house Tamarind Books is now part of Random House and continue on their mission too.
Book Island – this publisher brings books from other languages into the UK.
Read here about why more translated books are important for the children in the UK
The next two publishers focus on a specific cultural heritage – African and Chinese respectively.
African Parrot – is a publisher based in Edinburgh who want to promote positive images about Africa to children across the world.
Snowflake Books is a joint venture between Taiwan and British experts to bring Chinese stories to the UK
Sweet Apple Books also publish inclusive children’s books.
And slightly venturing outside the island, here are some publishers with similar missions.
Yali Books, NY who promote stories from South Asia
Golden Baobab & African Bureau for Children’s Stories is a non-profit organisation based in Ghana, whose vision is to inspire the imaginations of African children through African stories.
Groundwood Books, Canada who are particularly committed to publishing books for and about children whose experiences of the world are under-represented elsewhere.
So if you’re a parent who is looking for diverse picture books for your children or a teacher who wants to have an inclusive bookshelf or a writer/illustrator who is looking for inclusive publishers, do check these publishers out.
If you have suggestions for other publishers, especially indie, who are committed to an inclusive list, do leave their names in the comment section.