Hello Blogger Friends,
Hope that you all have been doing well.
It's been super busy for me with family
and work. I feel bad because I haven't
really been around. Sometimes life happens so
fast that the things you love to do get
passed over. I miss you all so very much and
I long to come back and start blogging again.
I am making time to do so. Wish me luck.
Sending you all best wishes and creative thoughts
today and everyday.
Author Carol Baldwin asked if she could post some of my comments from a recent SCBWI chat on Linkedin.com.
When you get a chance please run over to her site and read it.
Please leave a comment or two if you are so inclined.
Have a great day.
As a child of the 60's, I really didn't see myself in many picture books.
I didn't see me reflected in Jack and Jill, Humpty Dumpty Magazines or
Golden Children's books. My parents would buy my sister and I these
wonderful books and magazines because it was important to be a kid,
but it often saddened and frustrated them that the books didn't reflect
the people in our home. One day, I went to school and a teacher named,
Mrs. Russell, put me on her lap and showed me a wonderful book by
Ezra Jack Keats. That book would change my life. "The Snowy Day".
Mr. Keats would be one of the first illustrators of children's books
that would have a chocolate boy center stage in his book.
Peter looked like me. He was beautiful. I never heard a word Mrs.
Russell read honestly. It was the pictures that told me the
story. It was Peter's cute little brown face against his cozy red
snowsuit. It was his mama who looked just like my mama! It had everything
to do with his daddy that looked like my daddy. Peter and I were
sister and brother in my head and the pictures that Ezra created proved it.
The Snowy Day is 50 years old and
I just turned 50 last year. It saddens me deeply that we still don't see
children of color in books as often as I would like.
Of the 3,500 pictures books created last year, only 95 represented people of
color. We live in a very multicultural world and it is my joy to be reflected
this in the books and product that I create. I would hope that others would begin
to feel the same.
Don't get me wrong, we have a few, but not
enough. I love Mr. Keats's reply to an editor. She asked," Why did you
make Peter black? Are you trying to make a statement or something?"
Mr. Keats answered, "I put Peter there simply because he should have
been there all along." I feel the same way. I believe that ALL children
should be represented in Children's book! They all need to see themselves
in everyday situation that encourage imagine, diversity , problem solving
and community. Every child deserves this.