Children’s books have told stories with heartwarming lessons for decades, but many have failed to include minorities.
In 2018, 77% of characters depicted in children’s books were either white people or animals and objects, whereas only 7% were Asian or Pacific Islander.
Graduate student Angel Trazo said she aims to address this lack of diversity in children’s publishing. In July, Trazo self-published her first children’s book titled “We Are Inspiring: The Stories of 32 Inspirational Asian American Women.” Trazo said the idea of creating a children’s book highlighting notable female Asian American figures came to her as she was exploring a local bookstore in San Jose, California. While looking at the shelves, she came across a book about black women in history, but failed to find a similar book about Asian American women.
“It made me think that people aren’t aware of Asian American women who are alive right now doing amazing things, so that’s definitely a gap that I could fill,” Trazo said.
Some of the women in the book are activists whom she learned about in her first Asian American studies course, she said. One of these figures is Yuri Kochiyama, a Japanese American civil rights activist who fought for reparations for those held in Japanese internment camps during World War II. Another activist Trazo said she included is Helen Zia, a Chinese American journalist who promoted Asian American rights . . .