Diversifying Children’s Books: African Studies Book Basket Program

African Tales, One World, One PlanetThe African Studies Book Basket Program is only one campus initiative to diversify children’s books. A recent UW-Madison News article highlights UW-Madison’s Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC) which is housed in the Department of Education and maintains a website devoted to multicultural literature.

New data compiled by CCBC and released on Feb. 18 suggests that the number of publications with significant African or African-American content nearly doubled, from 93 in 2013 to 179 in 2014.

In an effort to boost enthusiasm for this content, the African Studies Program features over 50 Africa-related children’s books through the Book Basket Program. These highly acclaimed books are available for loan to educators and are primarily fiction, but also include autobiographical works, folktales, graphic novels, picture books, young-adult novels, and novels for older students. The African Studies Program looks forward to adding new award-winning books based on CCBC suggestions in the coming months.

A number of book baskets that have been prepared thematically, but educators can also feel free to assemble their own from the African Studies Program book list.

Educators who would like suggestions to help them assemble a custom basket should contact the African Studies Outreach Coordinator.