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Increasing Diversity in Children's Books

Published onOct 12, 2021
Increasing Diversity in Children's Books

The Ames Korean School and the Iowa State University Digital Press have published two children’s books: 그래서 더 좋은 것 같아 / Even Better and 꿈꾸는 꽃밭 / Garden of Dreams. These books, written in both 한글 and English, were created by the school’s Changing the Gap Parents Book Club. The club seeks to bridge the differing linguistic and cultural differences between first and second generation Korean Americans and is led by Iowa State University School of Education professors Ji Yeong I and Constance Beecher.

Cover of 그래서 더 좋은 것 같아 / Even Better.

Publications, such as those from the Ames Korean School, feature stories and experiences that are not often seen in books, on television, or in movies. The University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Cooperative Children’s Book Center maintains statistics on the number of children’s books written by and/or about Black, Indigeous, and People of Color. In 2018, 27% of children’s books featured animal protagonists, more than books about Native Americans, Latinx, Asians, Pacific Islanders, and African Americans combined. Many books about Black, Indigenous, and People of Color are also written by authors who do not hold that racial/ethnic identity and can portray stereotypical, inaccurate and/or inauthentic depictions of communities of color, further reducing the opportunities for children of color to see their communities and experiences reflected in the books they read.

Image: David Huyck and Sarah Park Dahlen.

The Iowa State University Digital Press is proud to publish books like those by the Ames Korean School and is committed to diversifying the published record, and sharing stories by and about communities of color and other marginalized and underrepresented communities.

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