PRESS RELEASE EMBARGOED UNTIL 6th MARCH 2019

World Book Day highlights lack of representation in children’s books.

Research released in July revealed that only 1% of children’s books published in 2017 had a BAME (black, Asian, minority ethnic) main character, yet 32% of UK schoolchildren are of BAME origin.

As World Book Day approaches and children are encouraged to dress up as their favourite book character, Little Box of Books, a children’s book subscription service, is highlighting this lack of representation that means almost a third of pupils will find it difficult to dress up as a character of their own ethnicity.

Director and founder of Little Box of Books, Lynsey Pollard says, “Of course, children can wear whatever costume they want, they don’t have to dress up as someone of their own ethnicity. But it’s about having the choice. World Book Day is an amazing celebration of the magical world of children’s books. With increased representation of all children in books, including race, culture, disabilities and gender it could be even better.”

The organisation has put together a list of books with BAME main characters, together with some costume ideas to help parents prepare costumes for the event.

Julian from Julian is a Mermaid by Jessica Love

This beautiful story is about a young boy who sees ladies dressed as mermaids going to a parade and wants to look like them. His Grandmother helps him with his costume. If you decide to go with this one, maybe cheat on the topless bit, March is still a little cold to be going to school just wearing a sarong, a turban and some necklaces.

Juniper Jupiter from the book of the same name by Lizzy Stewart

A red striped t-shirt, some yellow shorts, some spotty leggings and a red cape and you’re all set for some superhero adventures with Juniper. She flies, she’s super strong and super-fast. Everybody loves dressing up like a superhero.

Molly Rogers Pirate Girl by Cornelia Funke and Kasia Matyjaszek

You don’t often get swashbuckling pirate girls, so Molly is a great character to dress as, or there’s an equally brilliant Mum and Grandma to choose from, all strong ladies in the book, going about their piratey business.

Izzy Gizmo by Pip Jones and Sarah Ogilvie

This smart inventor girl comes up with all kinds of ideas to help her crow friend fly, with varying levels of success. Make some wings to go over that pink dress. Round glasses compulsory.

Errol’s Garden by Gillian Hibbs

Errol is just a normal kid, who loves gardening. The rooftop garden he creates on the top of his high rise attracts all sorts of helpers. All you need is jeans and a red t-shirt,  some cardboard glasses and you have a costume.

To ensure more children have access to these and other amazing titles, Little Box of Books is launching their EVERYBODY IN book box for 4-7-year olds, containing twenty inclusive and representative books from top publishers designed to diversify any bookshelf.

“It’s essential that you see yourself in the books you read. It shows you’re important, you’re normal and you can be anything you want to be. Little Box of books’ ‘Everybody In’ box will turbo boost any bookshelf with amazing books that will help children to see the world in all its diverse brilliance and help them understand their place in it.” says Lynsey Pollard.

For more information contact Little Box of Books on 07970269103

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS

Little Box of Books

Little Box of Books was set up by Lynsey Pollard and partner Neil Langston, two parents who didn’t see their blended family in any of the children’s books they read with their son. The company now seek out diverse and inclusive children’s books for monthly subscription boxes, one off gift boxes and for schools, nurseries and hospitals.

They find brilliant books that feature BAME characters, characters with disabilities, stepdads, step mums, single parents, two mums, two dads, books featuring positive gender representations and anything else that properly reflects society.

The aim of the organisation is for all children to see themselves in the books they read and to feel validated but to also give kids insight into families and worlds that are different to theirs.

Everybody in book package available for £99.99 plus £7.99 postagewww.littleboxofbooks.co.uk/product/everybody-in-4-7/

For more information visit www.littleboxofbooks.co.uk

Find us on; Twitter @littlebobooks Instagram: @littleboxofbooks

CLPE report, Reflecting Realities: https://clpe.org.uk/library-and-resources/research/reflecting-realities-survey-ethnic-representation-within-uk-children

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