What seems to be the next push in publishing is more diversity in picture books.
A couple of years ago it was "Pink it Up!” followed by "More Boy Books" and one of my favorite "No more Vampire stories”.
When I attend an SCBWI Winter Conferences the majority of people who attend seem to be white. I see few other ethnic groups except for Canadians they seem to be in abundance.
So my question is: Is there a lack of ethnic writers?
Or is there a lack of good ethnic writers? I don't know the answer.
What I see from the conferences and what I read on line most publishers don’t seem to give a …. about what color your skin is just need to tell a great story.
As illustrators we have the ability to diversify characters. Depending on the text it could be done. Or just make them cute mice, bunnies; once again depending on the subject bullying, shyness, first crush, afraid of lighting… and so on.
Back in 2009 I started sketching a picture book called “Why Am I Me?”
written by Wayne Harris- Wyrick.
I could not seem to get a picture in my head of one child asking such a big question;
then it struck me while riding the subway it does not need to be one voice I can have a diverse group of kids every time “Why Am I Me?” is said it’s a different kid. Using the many shades of humans who ride the subway as my pallet I went to work not easy creating so many different boys and girls but it was fun and I hope I accomplished something positive.