Various Children’s Book Publishers and Publishers You Should Know About

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A few months ago, I explored the current state of diversity in children’s book publishers. While I found there had been some progress in kidlit’s portrayals of children of color, there certainly wasn’t enough. Many “diverse” books come from white, straight, and cis creators, so there are still missing titles written and illustrated by people who are members of the communities represented. While any increase in multicultural representation is beneficial, authenticity is even more important than mere visibility. When people read about their own culture, it is often the nuances of the experience that are relatable.

Given these findings, I wanted to research particularly diverse publishers and publishers (divisions of publishing houses) that focus on the lives of children. All of these companies share a mission to print diverse books, prioritizing authentic depictions of the experiences of different racial and cultural identities, as well as showing a myriad of genders, sexual orientations, and abilities. Below, I’ve compiled a list of various kids’ editors and publishers you should look out for.

Bolden Agate

Bolden Agate publishes books for adults and children by and about African Americans. For now, they only have one children’s book, Crown: an ode to the fresh cut, which is written by Derrick Barnes and illustrated by Gordon C. James. Written in a cheeky rhyming style, it’s about the experience of a young black boy getting his hair cut at a barbershop and it’s a well-deserved winner of multiple awards.

barefoot books

Originally, barefoot books was a small independent publisher from England. Since 1992, the company has grown from the homes of its owners, while maintaining its desire to create quality stories that uphold kindness and honor diversity. In 2012, Barefoot Books won the IPG Diversity in Publishing Award for “its sustained commitment to cultural and ecological diversity,” and its books continue to be insightful, environmentally friendly, and culturally diverse.

Beach house edition

Beach house edition is a Hawaii-based company that publishes activity books, hardbacks, and picture books about the island’s “culture, history, ethnic landscape, and geography.” This is essential work they are doing, given the latest reports from Lee & Low results on the few books published by and on the inhabitants of the Pacific Islands.

crawling flamingo

Cover of 47,000 pearls by Koja Adeyoha

Not only do they have a great name, but crawling flamingo also does important work. They publish “feminist, racially diverse, and LGBTQ-positive children’s books, with the goal of bringing visibility and positivity to the landscape of children’s reading around the world.” The founders wanted the books to uphold values ​​such as racial justice and pride in disability while remaining optimistic and positive.

Children of gray stone

Children of gray stone is a Canadian publisher that creates “high-quality, visually appealing, beautifully written and sustainably produced picture books for young readers and non-fiction books for middle-level readers.” I’m a huge fan of their native picture books by Julie Flett – each of these should be checked out ASAP. Greystone Kids imprint, Aldana Books, specifically prints international authors and illustrators. by Alfredo Soderguit Capybaras was a recent noteworthy read.

Grindstone Lumber Books

Grindstone Lumber Books is another Canadian publisher that produces amazing, award-winning children’s books depicting different cultures, races, abilities, sexual orientations, and genders! They produce so many amazing reads, but I have a soft spot for Sara O’Leary and Qin Leng A family is a family is a family – he supported me through many Pride stories!

Lantana Editions

Anita and the Dragons take over Hannah Carmona

Lantana Editions promotes “diversity and inclusion, social and racial justice, women’s empowerment, empathy, mindfulness and well-being, environmental sustainability, and more.” Their books are beautiful and thoughtful, and a recent title I dug up was Anita and the dragons by Hannah Carmona and Anna Cunha.

Lee and Low books

Lee and Low is the largest American publisher of multicultural children’s books. A minority member, Lee and Low have been on a mission to publish thoughtful and authentic picture books for 30 years. Also, their Diversity Baseline Survey is a key tool for measuring the racial composition, gender, sexual orientation and capabilities of the publishing industry. More importantly, they repeat the survey every four years, providing insight into how the industry is changing. They have a footprint you deliverfor intermediate level and YA.

The little books

The little booksThe hardback catalog features easy bilingual reading and Latin American culture. In addition to simple hardback books about historical figures and places, they also feature telenovelas, the lottery, and stories about the lives of Latin American children.

make me a world

the cover of Snow Angel, Sand Angel

Artist and writer Christopher Myers is the creative director of Random House’s make me a world to print. Myers describes the goal as “[w]We strive to imagine a universe in which no young person is invisible, in which no child’s story is erased, in which no glass ceiling crushes a child’s dreams. They have produced acclaimed picture books like Angel of the snows, Angel of the sands by Lois-Ann Yamanaka and Ashley Lukashevsky, and award-winning YA as Akwaeke Emezi Animals.

Mango and marigold press

Mango and marigold press publishes stories about the South Asian experience, ensuring that they are authentic and accurate. They cover holidays such as Diwali, Eid and Ramadan, and they focus on topics such as empowerment and mindfulness.

hello reads

A publishing house belonging to Simon & Schuster, Saalam reads produces edifying books on Muslim life. They publish picture, mid-level, and YA books in a variety of genres and styles. One of my recent favorites, their award-winning Bilal Daal Cooks by Aisha Saeed and illustrated by Anoosha Syed, is a wonderful story about community and sharing traditions.

Versify

Kwame Alexander’s HarperCollins imprint, Versify, has produced so many wonderful books about children’s multicultural experiences. by Lamar Giles Legendary Alston Boys the series is a delight, and I also loved that of Sofiya Pasternack anya and the dragon series of two books. Plus picture books like ¡Let’s go! Let’s cross the bridge of Raúl the Third are so wacky and awesome.


All in all, these 13 diverse children’s book editors and publishers are creating some very exciting work. Explore their catalogs, get to know their star authors, and you’ll find yourself reading an abundance of top-notch stories. For even more, Charnaie Gordon’s Here Wee Read organized a even longer list well worth the walk. So, happy exploring! I know you will find some very good things there.

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