Aug 23, 2022 - World

MacMillan to publish Latino kids' series next month

an illustration of two colorful books next to each other with Roberto Clemente and Celia Cruz on the covers

Images courtesy of Hispanic Star/MacMillan

MacMillan will launch a new illustrated kids' series celebrating Hispanics next month, making it the latest book publisher to bring Latino stories to children's literature.

Why it matters: Only 6% of all publishing industry workers identify as Latino — and that's reflected in the low percentage of books that feature Latinos or Latino characters.

Driving the news: MacMillan is working with Hispanic Star, an initiative from diversity advocacy group We Are All Human, on the new series.

  • The first books feature Celia Cruz and Baseball Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente.
  • Claudia Romo Edelman, the co-author of several books in the series, hopes to publish up to 30 books, she tells Axios Latino.
  • “Latinitas: Celebrating 40 Big Dreamers,” written and illustrated by Guatemalan American Juliet Menéndez, was also launched last year by an imprint of MacMillan. It’ll be featured next week in the Library of Congress’ annual National Book Festival.

The big picture: Other publishers big and small are getting in on the action as children's literature slowly diversifies.

  • Penguin Random House has recently included Latino figures in its children’s series “Who Was,” which highlights historical figures. It launched a graphic novel on Cesar Chavez in February.
  • Lil’ Libros was founded by two Hispanic moms in 2014 and early this summer they received over $2 million through crowdfunding to keep growing their bilingual children’s titles.

What they’re saying: “We want to better the self-regard and the recognition of Latinos in America, set the record straight about how we’ve contributed to the U.S. though we rarely get the attribution,” Romo Edelman, who is also founder of We Are All Human, tells Axios Latino.

  • “We hope we can jumpstart having many more books, more content, more educational material so all those contributions are recognized. The time for that breakthrough is now and efforts like these are gonna help for that.”

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