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Five Diverse Children's Publishing Companies. Publishers out in the world trying to be inclusive of everyone. #PictureBooks #ChildrensBooks #Diversity #Publisher

Cardinal Rule Press strives to publish and promote diverse children’s picture books, and to make sure all voices are heard. To ensure that every child can see themselves in the book they read. Although more publishing companies are looking at adding more diverse voices to their book selections/authors there is still a large divide, and we need more diverse books. 

Every few years the CCBC (Cooperative Children’s Book Center) releases statistics from that year on Diversity in Children’s and YA Literature. “The CCBC has been documenting books for children and teens it receives annually by and about Black,  Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) since 1994.” Looking at the infographic for “Children’s Books By and/or About Black, Indigenous and People of Color Received by the CCBC 2018 ” 

Here are the stats from “About” section –20182019
Black/African405471
Indigenous5665
Asian344357
Latinx252236
Pacific Islander75
Arab2835

The stats show an increase and decrease in some areas, but still not a steady growth for diverse books. For more information about CCBC and their diversity statistics, click on this link 

Plan out ways to spend the rest of your 2021 book purchasing budget with our guide here. Be sure to include books from the following publishers, striving for accurate representation in picture books!

Thankfully, there are a lot more publishers out in the world trying to be inclusive of everyone. In our spotlight here are 5 Diverse Children’s Publishing Companies making a difference – 

1. Barefoot Books – 

This company started out in a little home in England, and grew to be a diverse children’s book empire. “Together, we have grown into a vibrant and diverse community focused on sharing books and gifts that inspire children to be compassionate, creative and curious.” They are also dedicated to making an impact in communities, “At Barefoot, we are committed to living out the kindness and compassion we celebrate in our books. All across the world, our community of parents, educators, librarians, booksellers, storytellers and artists are making a difference in their own communities, in their own ways.” To read more about them, their books, and what it means to “live barefoot”, click here. 

2. Just Us Books – 

Just Us Books, just celebrated 30 years of publishing! “Three decades ago Wade and Cheryl Hudson were parents on a desperate search for children’s books that reflected the diversity of Black history, heritage and experiences. Disappointed by the limited number and their unreliable availability, the couple embarked upon a mission: to produce the kind of positive, vibrant Black-interest books that they wanted for their own two children. Combining their professional experience in marketing and graphic design, Wade and Cheryl developed a number of manuscripts including the AFRO-BETSR ABC Book, which taught the alphabet using Afrocentric themes and images. They began presenting their ideas to various publishing houses. Although most editors liked the concepts, the Hudsons received rejection after rejection. “There’s no market for Black children’s books,” one editor said.” To this day, “it’s an institution and remains one of the nation’s few Black-owned publishers. It continues its mission grounded in the same belief that helped launch the company three decades ago: Good books make a difference.” Read more about their incredible story, and purchase books click on this link  

3. Lee and Low Books – 

They are one of the largest multicultural children’s book publisher in the United States. “One thing has kept us focused these past thirty years: a dedication to our mission. We have earned a reputation for high-quality books that are truly “about everyone – for everyone.” Educators seek out our books for their shelves because they know that Lee & Low’s books are meticulously researched and beautifully produced. Librarians await our new releases because they know our books will meet the needs of their communities. And parents choose our books to read at home because they know our books will celebrate and affirm windows and mirrors.”. For more information visit here  

4. Levine Querido – 

“Founded in 2019 by Arthur A. Levine, Levine Querido is an independent publisher of the finest children’s books in the world. Levine Querido publishes two lists: The Arthur A. Levine list, seeking out the writing and artwork of exceptionally talented creators, with a distinct focus on building a platform for previously underrepresented voices. And the Em Querido list, a partnership with the renowned Dutch publisher to find the most outstanding authors and artists from around the world, aiming to keep the legacy of Emanuel Querido alive and flourishing.” Check out to find more about “Giving voice to a world of talent.”

5. Lil’ Libros – 

“In a world with a shortage of bilingual books for children, two mothers began their mission to introduce bilingualism and Latin American culture through picture board books. Lil’ Libros was created to inspire parents to read to their children and encourage them to do so in two languages. At Lil’ Libros, we celebrate Latin American culture and important figures in its history. Our books honor beautiful stories like the life of Mexican painter Frida Kahlo and Cuban music icon, Celia Cruz in English and Spanish with rich and colorful illustrations while also introducing them to concepts like first words, numbers, colors, shapes, and biographies! We believe children’s books are seeds that when nourished allow for a child to turn their dreams into reality. Our goal is to make the world a better place by providing authentic stories that promote inclusivity and love!” Click here to shop and find out more!

A great resource for finding information about diverse children’s picture books and publishing is Here Wee Read, where Charnaie can help you find “diverse books and educational products for kids and grown-ups.”

Catherine is a marketing intern at Cardinal Rule Press this summer and also a student at Oakland University. She is currently in her senior year, and will be graduating with a BA in Graphic Design, May of 2022.

Cardinal Rule Press

P.O. Box 930237 • Wixom, MI 48393
info@cardinalrulepress.com