DEAR LGBTQ+ Community,
OurShelves is for us.
My wife, Jenn, and I have a five-year-old, Anna, and another on the way, due in December. We think our little ones - all of our littles ones - deserve so much better than the current picture book status quo.
How many high-quality books do you have with LGBTQ+ characters or families? Whatever the number is, you are most likely here because you agree that it's not enough. Not to mention all the beautiful diversity existing within and outside of our families that remains invisible in much of today's offerings . . .
Like most change throughout history, change will occur when we organize ourselves, with our allies, to collectively advocate. There are enough of us to accelerate change in the children's book industry, but only if we ensure we're counted, individually and collectively.
This is what OurShelves is all about -- we are standing up, collectively, to be counted in a long, sustained wave of powerful consumer demand for existing and still-needed diverse books.
First, together, we are connecting existing, hard-to-find content to our little ones so they don't miss out on what does exist.
Second, also together, we are advocating for more diverse books. We want to hear from you about who and what stories are still missing on your shelves. We will collectively share that feedback with publishers. We will then support responsive publishers with real and significant sustained sales - to ensure these books reach our homes, schools, libraries, faith institutions, rec centers, pediatricians’ offices and so on.
Please share your story - about why it's important to you to have beautiful books that include your family and the so many other diverse children and families of our world.
OurShelves belongs to all of us. We have an opportunity before us. Let's seize it.
Because we all know the closet is no place to be during story time.
With gratitude and love,
Alli, Jenn, Anna and Our Little One On the Way