Looking for more diverse children’s books to add to your collection? Here are 7 insider tips from Ghanaian literary nonprofit Golden Baobab to help you snag some amazing multicultural books for kids from across the globe.
Diverse literature contributes to the growth of smart, inclusive children who learn to be curious about the world. Golden Baobab, the nonprofit at which I am Director of Programs, celebrates and supports African children’s writers and illustrators through our annual Golden Baobab Prize. Since 2008, when we started Golden Baobab, we’ve learned a thing or two about literary diversity and representation, as well as how to celebrate multicultural books for kids in your own library.
So whether you’re wondering how to expand your school’s diverse book collection, or want to supplement your children’s readings with books that celebrate people, places, and cultures from more corners of the world, check out these seven places you can look to dive into the world of multicultural books for kids and discover more culturally authentic children’s literature.
1. Social Media Hashtags
Follow hashtags on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and other social media platforms which showcase children’s books, authors, and illustrators from all parts of the world.
A good place to start: #DiverseKidLit, #WeNeedDiverseBooks / #WNDB, #ReadYourWorld, #OwnVoices, #Afkidlit
2. Small or Independent Children’s Book Publishers
Discover lesser-known children’s book publishers from other countries to find strong and diverse literary work from new voices. Once you find your publisher of choice, try searching for the various online platforms their books are distributed on. These book distribution sites will open the door to discovering other culturally authentic children’s books.
Seek out the list of attendees at international children’s book fairs, such as the annual Bologna Children’s Book Fair, the world’s largest gathering for children’s book publishers, as a great way to find more small or independent publishing houses globally.
Some publishers we love: Lantana Publishing, African Bureau Stories, Pratham Books, Pickle Yolk Books, Tulika Publishers
3. Children’s Literary Prizes
A simple way to find some of the best multicultural books for kids is to follow global children’s literary awards. This is an awesome way to find storybooks around the world that are outstanding and of very high quality.
Begin with: Chen Bochui International Children’s Literature Awards, Children’s Africana Book Awards, The Golden Baobab Prize, Etisalat Award for Arabic Children’s Literature
4. Multicultural Children’s Book Reviewers
There is a growing online community of book reviewers who share extensively about multicultural books for kids. And they often have book giveaways! Find them on their blogs or social media platforms, and you might snag a fabulous storybook for free!
Check out: Here Wee Read, Latinxs in Kid Lit, Parents For Diversity, Readers Inspired, Caribbean Children’s Books Blog
5. Storybook Illustration Competitions and Exhibitions
Another great way to expand your search for more multicultural books for kids is to follow storybook illustration competitions and exhibitions in other countries. They are a great resource for finding excellent children’s books from around the world that are beautifully illustrated.
Suggestions: Book Illustrators Gallery (AFCC Singapore), The Global Illustration Award
6. Regional Book Festivals and Fairs
You can extend your search to regional book festivals and fairs in different countries, which often have a sizable number of children’s book exhibitors. This a great way to tap into the local publishing industries around the world.
Our recommendations: South Africa Children’s Book Fair, Ghana International Book Fair, Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival
7. Independent Online Bookstores
Many independent or small bookstores in other parts of the world have established an online presence. A good tip to know is that these online bookstores tend to have seasonal discounts and even organize giveaways during literary holidays throughout the year, which is great for your wallet!
We love: My Booksie Box, Eyes See Me, Kitaabworld, BookNook.store, Anansesem Bookstore
SUPPORT GOLDEN BAOBAB
Featured Photo: Provide Quality Education to 15,000 Amazon Children
by Vaga Lume Association