105 Ways to Give a Book

The Brown Bookshelf

It’s been ages since I’ve posted about a new blog. There are many great new blogs out there, really too many to even decide which ones to mention. But this time it’s something special. I am very excited to point out a new website and blog, The Brown Bookshelf, featuring the best in African-American children’s literature.


If I could have picked out the one area in kids’ lit that needed its own website — and a group of five dynamic authors and illustrators to keep it up — this is it. Right now the blog is focusing on introducing the writers and their perspectives, but will be featuring great books by and about African-Americans. (At least I think so. I was so excited, I didn’t even finish reading their site before I posted about it.)

Thanks to Liz at Tea Cozy for the heads-up about this fantastic resource and about their signed book giveaway. Signed book giveaway? Yes, go to the site to find out more.


Don Tate II said...

Thanks so much for your support, Mother Reader. Greatly appreciated.

Your question: Is your focus on writers and illustrators of color, or also on books featuring children of color? (Yes, I can imagine that there is great overlap, but still.)

Well, we've been discussing this. For now, this will be writer/author focused -- at least for the 28 Days initiative. Our goal is to highlight authors. Subject matter and illustrator, I believe, will be a secondary consideration. But as the sole illustrator, I plan to lobby. So look for this to expand. ;)

This is going to be a learning experience. We'll probably make some mistakes, and celebrate successes. But the ultimate goal is to raise awareness of black authors, others beyond the more obvious well knowns.

MotherReader said...

Glad to offer my support to a much needed venture.

I hope that you keep yourself open to including books that feature children of color as well as the ethnic background of the writers/illustrators. Top of my head, I'm thinking of the book Looking for a Moose by Phyllis Root and Randy Cecil. One of the things that I found so exciting about this book was the diversity of the characters - even though from the text, it wasn't necessary or indicated. It's just a regular ole' picture book about regular ole' picture book things, but using children of color.

So, keep your options open and congrats on the website/blog.

Don Tate II said...

Mother Reader, you just sent me running for my bookshelf. I have a signed copies of several Randy Cecil books that I picked up at TLA. At least one features brown children (oddly cute little characters), I couldn't determine the race and I loved that book. But I can't find it! It probably is the Moose book you mention. Another that comes to mind is ... and I'm drawing a blank again... Not Norman, I think. Features a black kid, but the book isn't about race, thankfully. It's about a kid and his pet fish. I love that one, too.

MotherReader said...

Don, now you sent me to Amazon to look up Not Norman. I remember it, and I love the illustrator Noah Z. Jones who also did a cute book about a girl with a monster in her backpack.

You see, while I appreciate the need for books that tell the history and the experience of blacks in this county - or further back, to African culture - I think that there is also a real need for books that feature children of color that aren't about racial issues. I'd like black children to see themselves reflected in the books they read that are about silly adventures or getting a goldfish. I'd also like children who aren't black to pick up books that use brown-skinned characters to have silly adventures or go to the doctor. (A new series of beginning readers features Max going to different places, but I don't know if the author or illustrator are African-American.)