As a dad of two dual heritage children, I know how important it is that we continue increasing the visibility of diversity in children’s literature in the UK. In 2016, I published the first children’s story that I wrote for my son, Otis Lemon and the Magic Scooter.
Diversity in kids’ literature didn’t even cross my mind until I had my own children, I wanted to inspire them and tell them amazing tales with characters that looked like them. Of the 9,115 children’s books published in 2017, researchers found that only 4% featured BAME characters. Just 1% had a BAME main character, and a quarter of the books submitted only featured diversity in their background casts. This compares to the 32.1% of schoolchildren of minority ethnic origins in England identified by the Department of Education in 2017.
I am extremely proud of what we have produced and achieved, so far.