As a marketing professional analyzing so much book data, I am tired of seeing the stereotypical books from authors.
I’ve been going to Barnes & Noble a lot lately only to get frustrated at the Kenyan book selection.
It’s frustrating seeing so many fun looking books from other authors only to see a picture book with Kenyan characters with a story about something sad or tragic.
Picture Books With Kenyan Characters
There are so many books from Kenyan authors filled with these difficult-to-read cultural themed books that are extremely inadequate and restrictive.
These books are usually problematic for young Kenyan children wanting new books to read.
Children’s books featuring people of color often avoid all the fun imagination and creativity of fantasy and focuses on the historical figures and difficulties of being Kenyan.
Yes, the past sucks but it’s so weird to read these type of books to children for storytime or bedtime.
And no doubt, books about Kenyan historical figures are important, but picture book authors should be able to write about other aspects of their culture besides the stereotypical narratives.
Kenyan Authors Picture Books
The popular Kenyan children’s books should not be limited to these stories focused on history. There are amazing children’s books that all kids can love and want to read from new Kenyan authors. Many of the children’s books for young Kenyan children appeal to the parents more than the children.
It seems that all these stories are written for the parents who believe it’s important for their toddlers to learn about history at such a young age.
Yes… it is important for children to learn about Kenyan history, but we should be able to do this while keeping it fun for the children.
Books With Kenyan Children
I’m currently focusing on picture books with diversity. I want to recommend and support children books that can successfully talk about race and culture in an organic way.
Race and culture should not be the driving factor of any of the stories.
Picture Books For Kenyan Kids
At the end of the day, I want to support good diverse picture books, no matter who the main characters are and so should you. Your children will thank you for it later in life.
Book publishers asking for specific authors need to do better to help the ignored picture book authors and book illustrators of color. We have more to offer the industry than the same sad stories.
Here is a list of children books with diverse characters focused on creativity and imagination without any themes focused on race.