A cause for hope or an unwitting complicity? The representation of cultural diversity in award-listed children's picturebooks in Australia
Bookbird: A Journal of International Children's Literature
Johns Hopkins University Press
School of Education
While books can play important roles in helping children develop a positive sense of identity and of their place as equal members of society, evidence shows how the lack of diverse literature contributes to feelings of inferiority and invisibility for children from underrepresented groups as well as to a sense of superiority and normality for children from majority groups. This study reports on the representation of racial diversity in award-listed Australian children's picturesbooks in 2019 and 2020. A critical theoretical framework was employed to analyze both texts and images of ninety award-listed books. While the outcomes suggest increasing attention to diverse representation in children's literature, authentic and equitable representation falls short. Particular concerns were found regarding portrayals of First Nations people through outdated stereotypes or misinformation.