Books should be mirrors and windows.
This week, it’s been inspiring to read so many articles in the media regarding diversity in children’s books and the need for it.*
At Tiny Owl, our aim is, obviously, to bring quality translated global literature to an English speaking audience. We see our books as gifts from non-English cultures for all children – we choose the finest books from Iran, less known to Western children, and people have very little knowledge regarding the culture other than political and media coverage. We hope provide a different representation of other cultures to UK readers from a young age.
After reading through a few articles regarding the diversity problem in literature we were delighted to stumble across http://weneeddiversebooks.tumblr.com/ – an organisation committed to bringing a more varied book options to Western countries.
Our recommendation to begin building a more diverse children’s collection:
The Little Black Fish
Little Black Fish may be small, but he has big questions and a determination to find answers to them.
This is Iran’s most famous children’s book, and important tale for adults too; loved both as a tale of an individual life, but also as a political allegory, speaking of the life of a notion. First published in 1968, The Little Black Fish was actually banned in pre-revolutionary Iran where it was a dangerous place to dare to be politically different. Our English translation, featuring Han Christian Anderson award winning illustrations from Farshid Mesghali, is the perfect addition to libraries of all ages and is a useful case for discussion amongst all about the big questions at the heart of political debate.