A New Program at Masalamommas.com will aim to raise awareness of Diverse Books!
Every child deserves to look through the pages of a book and see themselves – see themselves as the adventurous protagonist, the imaginative thrill seeker, or the little boy next door. This “mirror experience” that is so important for children just isn’t possible when books lack diversity. When children read stories of cultural experiences and traditions like their own, see their native languages in print, and see protagonists who look like themselves, they can fully immerse themselves in the rich stories that will stay with them forever.
The last year was marked with remarkable changes in children’s literature. From South Asian children’s biographies about trailblazing South Asians, to bilingual books teaching children about holiday traditions, to an entire line of developmentally appropriate children’s books about India’s heritage – change is definitely in the air. We are seeing diversity in children’s books and it’s long overdue.
At Masalamommas, we are dedicated to bringing our readers the very best in South Asian children’s literature. We recognize that quality resources that help us teach children about our rich heritage are difficult to find.
We want to recognize excellence in diverse children’s books and put those exceptional books in little hands. With this in mind, the Masalamommas Children’s Book List was born. We’re calling attention to exceptional children’s books that allow children to connect with characters, stories that highlight the rich heritage of South Asia, and achievements by those creative and inspiring individuals who see value in bringing diversity to children’s literature.
We will have a special Masalamommas ‘Approved’ Seal of approval for books shared with us through this program that we believe as mothers do a great job of providing this connection to children that we’ve outlined above.
Books will be scored by a section of our editorial board and our team at masalamommas.com. Each approved book will be part of a new section on masalamommas.com, that will house a list for easy access to our readers who are moms, and be given a special book review with our feedback.
Books will receive:
1) A full book review on our site with evaluations done by 3 of our masalamommas board members (all of which are moms), masalamommas education editor and Editorial Director.
2) Permanent listing on our site with all ‘approved’ books in our special approved book list section tab on the home page (coming soon)
3) promotion through all our social media channels, newsletter
4) option for future promotion at our events for families and moms
Authors, Nominators Must provide
1) ebook or hard copy of book to be sent to our office/email
2) a parent’s guide or info about author, book
3) A short description of why the book is being nominated and why it should become part of our permanent library as masalamommas
4) recommended age for readers
Books will be promoted on our site and channels and will have the unique aspect of being reviewed by South Asian moms.
Stay tuned for more details on this program! In the meantime here’s some more info on what criteria we will measure each nominated book against below. If you have a book you’d like to share, email us at email@example.com and we’ll update you on our nomination form once it’s available!
To apply for our upcoming book list, the title:
1. Must portray some aspect of South Asian culture, heritage, or history, past, present, or future.
2. Must be written/illustrated by someone of South Asian decent.
3. Must be an original work.
4. Must be written for a youth audience in one of the three categories:
Primary Grades K-3
Junior Grades 4–8
5. Must meet established standards of quality writing for children which include:
*Relatable characters who undergo growth and development during the course of the story
*Developmentally appropriate writing style for the intended audience
*Cultural or historical accuracy.
6. Best said by Patricia Cianciolo in her book Illustrations in a Children’s Book, illustrations should “lead [the reader] to an appreciation of beauty… Storytelling qualities should enlarge upon the story elements that were hinted at in the text and should enlarge upon the story elements that were hinted at in the text and should include details that will awaken and strengthen the imagination of the reader and permit him to interpret the works and pictures in a manner unique to him.”
7. Most importantly, we are seeking titles that motivate and inspire young readers to develop their own individual positive attitudes and behaviours, and foster a sense of responsibility as productive citizens in a pluralistic society.
Want to nominate a title? Stay tuned! A nomination form is coming soon!
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