POC, Queer, & Trans Owned Independent Publisher | San Francisco, CA | since 2009

Children’s Books as a Radical Act

Children's Books as a Radical Act
*NOTE: the statistics in the graphs below are from the 2017 numbers. Due to our many projects, we unfortunately are not be able to regularly update with current numbers at this time. While there have been strides made in greater representation there is STILL MUCH WORK to be done and still plenty of work to repair the damage done from years of lack of reflection and voice.

it is important to note that current statistics count a book as "BY" a particular community if either the author or illustrator is BIPOC or LGBTQ. While it is valuable to have visual representation, we have seen a trend of white and/or straight authors writing stories that are illustrated by BIPOC and/or queer illustrators. These books would still be included in the "BY" category for BIPOC and/or queer communities even though a white/straight author wrote them. So, we ask the question... whose voice is still prioritized in these situations?

It also means that the numbers of books MISSING by each community to be equal with White Americans in the graphs below are likely MUCH LOWER than originally thought and in fact might need to be DOUBLED to have a more accurate picture of who is actually getting to TELL the stories and who's VOICES are being left out and ignored.

While we value any and all work done to change the tide of representation in children's books (particularly in relation to first-voice/own-voice books), because of our history, it is always good to keep a critical eye when reviewing children's books. Especially those books written outside the community they are representing.

Where we stand as of 2017 in U.S. Children’s Book Industry:

2017 ccbc statistics books by poc/indigenous

Statistics from the Cooperative Children's Book Center (CCBC)

Where we should be if POC&Indigenous authors were telling our own stories:

books needed by POC/Indigenous own voices - 2017 statistics

The SILENCE we live with. How the last 12 years (& beyond) has impacted us:

books missing by POC/Indigenous over the last 12 years

Looking closer at US Publishers ONLY and the last 3 years:

2017 statistics of last 3 years US Publishers only and ABOUT vs. BY

And looking closer at the LGBTQI community:

2017 LGBTQ children's books statistics inforgraphic
***PLEASE NOTE: CCBC updated their statistics on books by LGBTQ authors from 21 to 56 on July 5th, 2018 (an increase of more than double which is interesting). So the numbers and percentages shown in the graphs will change slightly however the majority of books are STILL written from outside the community.

Statistics for LGBTQI children's books from the Cooperative Children's Book Center (CCBC) only started in 2017

Children's Books as a Radical Act

A Powerful Tool for Social Change. Children’s books offer the potential to engage all of our creative faculties to transform the stories we, as people of color, queer, or indigenous people heard as children that often did not include us. Using a holistic approach, creating children’s books can heal and strengthen the creator as much as the reader.

This is the potential power available through children’s books and what we want to seed out into our communities. The 3 R’s—Reflection, Reclamation and Regeneration—help us envision a full and effective path of action that ultimately supports true power rising from our communities in the form of our OWN VOICES.

How WE Make Children's Books a Radical Act:

I am the Seed I came to Grow

3Rs of Children's Books as a Radical Act by Maya GonzalezLearn more about the 3R's
Download the PDF

Reflection Press

Publish Books that REFLECT.

We create books that push the bounds of publishing and support people of color, queer & indigenous voices rising.

View our Current & Upcoming Books>>>

School of the Free Mind

Online School to RECLAIM.

We offer children’s book courses to support new authors, illustrators, and indie publishers through a holistic approach that engages the whole person and centers our communities in the book making & publishing process.

View our Courses & Join our Classroom>>>

Write Now! Make Books

Kids Program to REGENERATE.

We aim to support future storytellers to retain and hone their natural storytelling and artistic abilities with a free online program for kids and families.

Download your Field Guide & Get Started>>>

How YOU can Make Children's Books a Radical Act:

We're deeply committed to this work. We wish to support our communities in coming into voice and personal power, foster a publishing revolution from within and ultimately co-create a more just and equal world. We definitely rely on the funds we bring in from book sales, classroom registrations, speaking gigs, and other sources to help keep it going. If you like what we stand for and the work we're doing and would like to help us keep doing it, feel free to send a little monetary love our way.
Support our Work

Past Infographics

(more current infographics at top of page)

Graphics from our Radical Act Campaign with 2015 CCBC Statistics:

A Look at the Last 10 Years (up to 2015):