An international school librarian gave me this amazing comment, when I asked her to read through our first book The Underwater Story. “I love the story and the illustrations are gorgeous, but what I am really excited about is the idea behind these books. I can finally offer a book with an Indian looking child.” 25% of the students attending her school are Indian children and she had real issues finding books for kids that look Indian and/or have Indian sounding names, so she quickly ordered a book for a boy called “Aaditya”. Best of all she ordered the book in a combination of German and English, the two main languages taught at the school.
This is what TimTimTom Books is all about?
Before starting with TimTimTom Books I have to admit we had not spent much time thinking of representation and how kids have or, maybe better said, have not had the opportunity of seeing themselves in books. Soon, however we understood that diversity is actually a big issue in kid’s literature. Research suggests that 75% of characters in children’s books are white.
We realized that we can definitely make a difference in how kids see themselves represented in books. Hence, we decided to not only publish bilingual books, as we had originally intended, but to also customize the main character in name and appearance. The main character can actually look exactly like the child, which many other personalised books are not capable of.
Why does representation in kid’s literature matter?
Kids, especially younger kids that are starting in their “reading careers”, enjoy reading more if they have a link to the story and especially to the main character. This is where personalised books can make a difference, especially in that first step of enticing kids to read, or being read to, for fun.
Seeing yourself as the lead character of a book gives you an idea of what you might become. It makes you dream and feel that this could be you . In other words, diversity in literature does matter. Additionally, our stories include a message of helping others, hard work and resilience, so that each child becomes the hero of their very own aspirational story.
What is Multicultural Children’s Book Day?
For the second year running we are proud sponsors of Multicultural Children’s Book Day (yes, you are right a mouth-load, so MCBD for short). An organization set to celebrate diversity in children’s books. MCBD’s focus is to not only raise awareness for the kid’s books that celebrate diversity, but to get more of these types of books into classrooms and libraries.
We hope you can join us in checking out MCBD and spreading the word. There are loads of books up for grabs on the 25th of January, check out the details.
In the next few days we will be posting the reviews of our amazing MCBD partners – bloggers, librarians, multilingual parents who believe that representation makes a big difference in preparing our kids for their future world.
We hope you will enjoy the ever increasing diversity in kid’s literature…#ReadYourWorld #Diversekidlit
A bilingual and personalised story that will spark your kid’s imagination and language ability.
You can personalise name and look of the child and choose two out of ten available languages.
TimTimTom – Playfully Reading and Learning Languages