This post is part of a linkup – regular readers will be familiar with this material, but to new readers…it’s new!
This week’s #DiverseKidLit linkup coordinates nicely with the October 4 feastday of St. Francis of Assisi – the subject of my own book that I’m bringing into the linkup.
Adventures in Assisi, published in 2014, is the story of St. Francis told through the experiences of two contemporary children.
As the author of many books for children and young adults in the Catholic market, I have always been struck by the lack of diversity in the imagery in most books in this market, especially striking since most Catholic children are not of European descent are do, in fact live in or have ancestry from Latin American, Africa and Asia. My illustrator and I knew from the beginning that our book about St. Francis would feature children who reflected this diversity.
As it happens, Ann Engelhart, the water color artist with whom I work on my books, is part of a large family of German and Irish descent which, in her generation of siblings, reflects this even broader diversity as well – her sisters-in-law include women from Africa and India. The models she used for the children in our book are one of her nephews and a friend of his from school whose parents are African and Italian.
Below is some of the art from the book – without the text. Enjoy!