Ethnic diversity in UK children’s books to be examined

Arts Council England studies are expected to confirm suspicions of a ‘paucity of high-quality books by and about people from all walks of life’

The “paucity” of UK children’s books featuring an ethnically diverse lineup of characters is set to be laid bare by two Arts Council England-backed studies into representation in children’s literature.

The issue of ethnic representation has long been a subject of research in the US, where the University of Wisconsin-Madison has charted the relatively minuscule proportion of children’s books by and about people of colour for decades: in 2016, it found that of 3,400 US children’s books, just 287 were about Africans or African Americans, 240 were about Asians, 169 about Latinos and 55 about Native Americans.

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