Diversity in children’s books are lacking. Just last year, the Cooperative Children’s Book Center reported that out of 3,400 children’s books, only 270 were about African Americans, 113 focused on Asian Americans, 83 were about Latinos, and 42 centered around Native Americans.
Veronica S. Appleton, multicultural author of new children’s book, Journey to Appleville, is determined to change this trend and spread awareness of the importance of cultural representation. The first of the Appleville Books series, this beautifully illustrated children’s book showcases the importance of friendship and acceptance for kids everywhere.
Journey to Appleville follows six kids from a local neighborhood with a common goal—to go to Appleville, overcome their fears, and receive a Golden Apple from the Appleville Fairy. Embark on their quest and follow Kenan, Tu-Tu, Pedro, Liu-Liu, Lizzy, and Cassie as they make their way to accomplishing their goals and finding the Appleville Fairy.
Appleton says she wanted to write the Appleville Books series to engage the 22-28 percent of non-readers, children who read less than 45 minutes a week, by creating a story related to who they are.
“Appleville is symbolic of ‘opportunity,’” Appleton explains. “It’s a place where all children can be who they want to be and do what they believe is right. I believe it is essential to tell this story of exploration, friendship and triumph.”
An opportunity for children of all nationalities to connect with each other, Journey to Appleville explores:
- The importance of putting power back into the hands of diverse cultures in a story that is reflective of who they are as individuals and as storytellers.
- Teaching children to be kind and friendly to each other, no matter how different they might be from each other.
- Why cultural representation in books is critical for multicultural children and their families.
- The power that comes from successfully overcoming fears and helping others work through their own uncertainties.
Veronica S. Appleton is a writer, advertising professional, educator, and avid collector of children’s books. As an alumnus of Purdue University and DePaul University, as well as a current doctoral student, Appleton leverages her education to develop stories that address the everyday lives of multicultural families. In 2016, Appleton was awarded the Diversity Journal Top Professionals in Higher Education Honor and the Relationship Advocate Award from the Perspectives Charter Schools, in addition to being a Bill Sharp Award Finalist. She is currently the Project Manager & Co-Chair, Global Culture & Inclusion at FCB Chicago and an Adjunct Professor of Intercultural Communication at DePaul University.