By Yolanda Scott
My local school district is 24% Asian, 22% Hispanic, 21% Black, and 29% White. So why are the vast majority of fairy tales offered to these students presenting white, European characters? The origins of the most common fairy tales are often the Brothers Grimm or Hans Christian Andersen, but surely we can do better with our Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall. Children today deserve many more options for what it means to be a hero, a princess, or a little girl visiting her grandma. And even in school districts less diverse than mine, students need windows into other cultures. Here are a few picture books that tell a slightly different tale.
1. Snow White, by Chloe Perkins, Illustrated by Misa Saburi
2. Little Roja Riding Hood, by Susan Middleton Elye, Illustrated by Susan Guevara
3. Goldy Luck and the Three Pandas, by Natasha Yim, illustrated by Grace Zong
4. Beauty and the Beast, by H. Chuku Lee, Illustrated by Pat Cummings
5. Little Red and the Very Hungry Lion, by Alex T. Smith
Yolanda is giving away a copy of Reading Picture Books with Children: How to Shake Up Storytime and Get Kids Talking About What They See, by Megan Dowd Lambert. With chapters on topics like trim size and orientation, jackets and covers, endpapers, typography, and more, this book is a must-have for anyone who wants to enhance their understanding of the picture book form and appreciate its visual components. To be eligible, please comment on this post and make efforts to read mentor text regularly.
Thank you Yolanda!
Yolanda Scott is the associate publisher and editorial director at Charlesbridge, where she has edited nearly 200 titles since 1995. She has worked with authors and illustrators such as Eve Bunting, Tony Johnston, Kathryn Lasky, Rafael López, David McPhail, Wendell Minor, Linda Sue Park, Duncan Tonatiuh, and Jane Yolen. She is a co-founder of Children’s Books Boston and a board member of the Children’s Book Council, where she has also served on the CBC Diversity Committee. www.charlesbridge.com Twitter: @yoscottbooks