This day, January 27th is noted as Multicultural Children’s Book Day. Nonnie and I was not written with the race of the main character in mind. It was story of a girl and her giraffe, that’s it. When it was published and I saw the cover, an African girl standing next to a giraffe, then it hit me. I wrote about a black girl!? Me, a white person.
Was that the reason why the manuscript received so many “loved it, but not enough” letters until I landed a contract? Was the reason because my character, unbeknownst to me, was African?
I’ve been reading recent articles mentioning people of color in children’s books, with regards to the limits of color and even, girl characters. Is that’s why Nonnie and I
does not stand out among other published books? (Double whammy – black and a girl)
I live in a mostly Hispanic community and I do see that represented at my local library, yet I can’t seem to get them to bite on my book.
What factors play into that? If I am essentially blind to the main character of my book, does that make me the opposite of other readers out there? Lastly can a Caucasian author write about an African child or any race not their own?