Even cooler, some cool news: Lee & Low was recently awarded a $500,000 award from First Book. The award, The Stories For All Project, aims is to introduce a significant number of multicultural books into the hands of low-income children: First Book, Stories for All Project Chooses LEE & LOW.
Lee & Low was one of two publishers chosen to receive the award. Here's part of the announcement by publisher Jason Low:
For us the presence of this project further addresses the fact that diverse books are a necessity. Making multicultural books available to low-income families is a step toward addressing the chasm between people who believe these books are important to actually making the books available to the children who need them.That's awesome news. For further information on The Stories for All Project, go to the First Book website. For more on Lee & Low Books and to learn more about their diverse library of titles, visit the company's website.
For years I have been involved in conversations with librarians and educators on the subject of how we need more diverse books. However, there is this strange disconnect where people continue to point out the lack of diverse books without doing the most obvious thing, which is supporting the companies that publish these books in the first place. The support is simple. It involves buying the books. It also involves telling people about the books and recommending them to buy the books. The more this happens the more books we can publish.
What First Book has done is monumental in supporting multicultural books. It is a bold statement that I hope is just the beginning. An infusion of this many diverse books increases the chances of a child being able to see a face like his or her own staring back at them from the pages of a book. This moment of recognition for a child will create a profound experience that will be forever associated with the act of reading. This powerful relationship to books is one that they will hopefully cultivate for the rest of their lives.