Everybody In / A Place at the Table
In recent months, the need for greater diversity has become an area of increasing concern in the children’s book industry, with numerous campaigns calling for more inclusive children’s books. The 'Everybody In' initiative stems from our belief that we need to move on from just campaigning and talking about inclusion and diversity, and that by working together across the children’s book world we can effect real change. Leading book figures, including former children’s laureates Julia Donaldson, Michael Morpurgo, Anne Fine and Anthony Browne, have expressed their support for the initiative. Malorie Blackman also welcomed the news, describing the groundswell of cross-organisation activity around inclusion and diversity as 'more than timely.’ The initial Inclusive Minds event will take the form of a workshop for the children’s book world, 'A Place at the Table', to debate the importance of access to inclusive and diverse books, to identifying the barriers, to ideas for practical and commercially sound strategies to enable the children’s book world to move forward. You can also show your support by tweeting 'I'm in' using the hashtag #everybodyin
Inclusive Minds at Imagine Festival 2015
On Monday 16 February, Inclusive Minds were back at the London Southbank Centre running another day of book activities and workshops for all. Check out the full timetable of events.
Inclusive Minds at Imagine Festival 2014
We were delighted to host a fully inclusive day of events 'What about me? Put yourself in the picture' at the Southbank Centre's Imagine Children's Festival on Friday 21st February 2014. This day of fun, imagination and creativity focused on making books inclusive of, and accessible for, everyone, as we celebrated all children and allowed them to get inside some of their favourite books. The day included something for everyone – drop-in workshops, as well as ‘quick fire’ activities for those just passing by. Children enjoyed meeting authors and illustrators, learning how books are made, getting creative with craft activities, sensory stimulation to bring stories to life, sign language activities, and even working with well-known illustrators to put themselves into a picture. The day ended with a panel discussion asking ‘What is normal?’ – looking at the messages books give our children about society and hierarchy and allowed parents and children the opportunity to give feedback to the book industry. Check out the full timetable of events and details of the authors and illustrators involved as well as our report on how the day went.
Write 4 Children Journal
Alexandra and Beth edited a special edition of this journal on the theme Diversity, Inclusion and Equality: Disability and accessibility, culture and heritage, gender and gender identity, sexual orientation, age, socio-economic background and family composition in children's writing and literature. Read the special edition on the Write4children website.
Tactile Book Project
Thanks to Booktrust and the very wonderful publisher Child's Play, we worked together to develop a touch and feel book closely based on the ideas, experiences and requests of visually impaired children and their families. The book has been included in the Bookstart Booktouch and Star packs as well as being sold in mainstream outlets.
'This is Me!' Book Packs
We've teamed up with Letterbox Library to select two very special book packs. The 'This is Me!' Early Years pack is bright, breezy and fun-packed. A gorgeous mix of board books and picture books, ideal for nurturing positive attitudes to diversity and difference in the very young. Multicultural and global, with images of disabled children, a range of family set-ups and books that gently challenge gender stereotypes, this pack is a perfectly embracing collection. The celebration continues with the 'This is Me!' Primary pack which contains great stories which have been selected for their strong characterisation and engaging narratives, and the fact that they just happen to be diverse, inclusive, and promote equality. You can buy the packs from Letterbox Library by clicking on the links. All the books can also be purchased individually from Letterbox Library. Selecting the books involved a lot of interesting discussion; read about the process on our news page.
"Challenging Homophobia through Children's Literature" at the Palace of Westminster
On behalf of Inclusive Minds, Beth spoke about creating inclusive children's books at this ESRC funded event at the Palace of Westminster, organised by Mark McGlashan.
London Book Fair "Equal Measures" seminar 2013
"Equal Measures" is a popular annual event, held at the London Book Fair. For the past three years, the event has focused on different aspects of disability and books and has involved the likes of Julia Donaldson, Nick Sharratt and Michael Foreman. 2013 saw the expansion of the familiar format of the event to look at all areas of diversity, inclusion and equality. The seminar will looked at the extent to which children's books reflect ALL children. Where are the gaps? How can we instigate change? What are the best examples of good practice? With guest speaker Verna Wilkins, and a panel including Letterbox Library and our very own Beth Cox, the event was guaranteed to inform and inspire. Managed and hosted by Alexandra Strick and in collaboration with Booktrust, this event was a must for anyone who shares our interest in diversity and children's literature.
Equip Conference 2013
We hosted a session as part of "Developing the Publishing Workforce", a conference run by Equip, the Equality in Publishing Network. Our session will explore the links between a diverse workforce and diverse content in children's books.