Despite changing demographics in classrooms and communities across the United States, characters in children’s books remain unchanged. Publishing company Bharat Babies addresses the need for diversity in children’s literature with modern and age-appropriate books about Indian culture and popular folk tales.
When searching for books about Indian heritage for her newborn in 2013, Bharat Babies founder Sailaja N. Joshi realized few options existed that were written to appeal to younger ages, let alone newer generations of Indian Americans. Sharing classic stories in a way that is both universally appealing and accurate has become a cornerstone for the publishing company.
Joshi strongly believes “… we are on the brink of helping to revolutionize the way both print and media view children’s literature and education. We are not only bringing stories in that are culturally diverse, but we’re also telling the stories of a diaspora community.” Bharat Babies bridges the gap for second and third generation Indian Americans, who are looking for books about Indian culture that are not only age-appropriate, but also reflect the reality of the communities in which they live, work, and learn.
Bharat Babies creative director & co-founder Megan Boshuyzen emphasizes the need for children to see themselves reflected in the books they read. “I think we’re going to help children of different cultures see themselves in the limelight … They will no longer be thrown into the background, or feel ‘exotic’ and ‘different,’ as publishers often make them feel.”
Let’s Celebrate Diwali is Bharat Babies’ latest title, available for pre-order now in time for Diwali on November 11, 2015. Written by Anjali Joshi and illustrated by Tim Palin, Let’s Celebrate Diwali explores the Hindu holiday through the eyes of recurring character Harini and her classmates. The story provides young Indian Americans a true connection to a classroom that mirrors their own. Bharat Babies cultural director & co-founder SriVani Ganti stresses, “too many children aren’t seeing themselves represented, and feel that they aren’t good enough to be the hero, or even main character, in the story. America is a melting pot, the world is more than one color, and all stories should reflect that diversity.”
To learn more about Bharat Babies or to order books, visit www.bharatbabies.com and follow on Facebook and Twitter.