UW-Madison School of Education - In the Media

School of Education "In the Media"

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The Horn Book Magazine interviews CCBC's Horning about diversity in children's books

April 05, 2017
Kathleen Horning, the director of the School of Education's Cooperative Children's Book Center (CCBC), was recently interviewed by The Horn Book Magazine about the CCBC's annual study on the amount of diversity, and lack thereof, in children's books. 

The CCBC has a long-running tradition of documenting books it receives that are by or about people of color, or from First/Native Nations. The CCBC started tracking these numbers in 1985, documenting them in their annual best books listing, “CCBC Choices” publication. 

The Horn Book Magazine's interview with Horning examined the results from this year's study, as well as the results' trends over the years. 

Horning
Horning
The interview also explained some of the less visible implications behind the study's numbers. For instance, although there has been a jump in this year's books published by Asian American authors and illustrators, only 35 percent were actually about Asian Americans. 

Horning explains that people may view this in a positive light; Asian American authors and illustrators being able to publish whatever they want. However, it is complicated because it also means that two-thirds of the books about Asian Americans were created by non-Asian Americans. 

"There’s so much more that can be done if we look more deeply into the numbers in terms of examining what is — and isn’t — being published," Horning says in the interview. "How are we nurturing the next generation of authors and illustrators who will follow in the footsteps of book creators like Jason Reynolds and Yuyi Morales? We know they are out there right now, sitting in (most likely) public-school classrooms. What are they seeing in the books they’re reading?"

The CCBC is a unique and vital gathering place for books, ideas and expertise in the field of children's and young adult literature. The CCBC is a non-circulating examination, study and research library for Wisconsin school and public librarians, teachers, early childhood care providers, university students and others interested in children's and young adult literature.

​The center maintains a web page devoted to multicultural literature, including lists of recommended titles by age group.
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