Books are invaluable tools that help children form opinions and learn about the world.
They can teach them about their own identity and help make connections with others. But many books for kids lack the diversity needed to promote inclusion, including the availability of bilingual children’s books.
Today on Insight, the importance of bilingual children and young adult books with the author of a forthcoming bilingual children’s book.
There is little debate regarding the importance of reading to kids. There seems to be less of an emphasis, however, on diversity being reflected in children’s literature.
According to the Cooperative Children’s Book Center, part of the University of Wisconsin that tracks diversity in publishing, roughly 5.5 percent of children’s books are created by Latinx authors or illustrators, and around 7 percent of children’s books are about a Latinx character when, according to the Pew Research Center, Latinos make up about 18 percent of the overall U.S. population as of 2017 and are one of the fastest-growing demographics.
This is why, after having two boys of her own, longtime journalist and KCRA 3 anchorwoman Leticia Ordaz was inspired to start her own publishing house, Cielito Lindo Books. Her first children’s book, which comes out March 16, is “The Adventures of Mr. Macaw,” featuring a Latinx cast of characters and written in both English and Spanish. The book includes the Spanish subtitle “Las Aventuras del Sr. Macaw” on the cover.
My journey to becoming a children's book author was featured in the Off Camera newsletter for the Northern California National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) in September. Read the story below:
KCRA Reporter/Weekend Anchor Leticia Ordaz is launching an important new endeavor near and dear to her heart. A mother of two little boys, Ordaz believes it’s important to preserve the Spanish language in her family. “I don’t want my children to lose or forget this part of their culture/identity,” said Ordaz. So, she has undertaken a big project. She’s set-up a publishing company and writing a bi-lingual children’s book.
Ordaz wrote her first book in 2018. It was a story about her two children. Initially, she was seeking out a major publisher. Then, she decided to publish it herself. She set up a small publishing house called Cielito Lindo Books, LLC. She wanted to make sure the picture book would be bilingual and that the characters would stay true to her vision.
Reportera / presentadora de fin de semana en KCRA Leticia Ordaz está lanzando un nuevo e importante proyecto muy cercano a su corazón. Ordaz, madre de dos niños, cree que es importante preservar el idioma español en su familia. “No quiero que mis hijos pierdan u olviden esta parte de su cultura / identidad,” dijo Ordaz. Por lo que emprendió un gran proyecto, al crear una compañía editorial y escribir un libro bilingüe para niños.
Ordaz realizó su primer obra infantil en el año 2018. En la cual narro una historia sobre sus dos hijos.
Inicialmente, estaba buscando una editorial importante. Sin embargo después decidió publicarlo ella misma y creó una pequeña editorial llamada Cielito Lindo Books, LLC. Quería asegurarse de que el libro ilustrado fuera bilingüe y que los personajes se mantuvieran fieles a su visión.