The Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE) is teaming up with BookTrust to review ethnic representation in children’s literature.
CLPE is launching an initiative called “reflecting realities” and will look at the representation of BAME characters in children’s books. A steering committee of experts, including Fen Cole (co-director of Letterbox Library), Darren Chetty (teaching fellow at UCL Institute of Education), Vini Lander (professor of race and teacher education at the University of Roehampton) and Nikesh Shukla (author and editor), will examine books published in the UK in 2017.
BookTrust, meanwhile, is working with University College London on a research project into the number of children’s titles created by authors and illustrators of colour in the UK.
Both surveys are being funded by Arts Council England and are aimed at making publishers more conscious of representation in their books.
Farrah Serroukh, learning programme leader at CLPE, said: “Our Reflecting Realities project will enable us to develop the blueprint for an annual survey that will help inform and guide ongoing investment in broadening representation in children’s literature. We must invest our energies into normalising and making mainstream the breadth and range of realities that exist within our classrooms and society and ensure this translates to the pages of our books.”
CLPE will announce its findings in July, while BookTrust's report will be out in September.