Our six-year-old, Anna, and six-month old, Isaac, have two moms. We want Anna and Isaac, and all children, to be able to see themselves, and beyond themselves, in the stories they cherish. But it's hard to find these books. (See this article Alli wrote about the state of same-sex-parented kids in children's books.)
We quickly learned from our friends and networks around the country, and even abroad, that we are not alone. So many of us are craving to grow our bookshelves to reflect our own families and our inclusive values. But it's hard. Impossibly hard.
It's difficult for two reasons. First, what few high-quality diverse stories do exist are almost impossible to find. For anyone. Let alone us - already busy people at the busiest time of our lives. Second, there aren't enough high-quality diverse books. Period.
OurShelves is here to help - on both fronts. First, our incredible Curation Team, who lives and breathes diverse kids' books, connects this hard-to-find content directly to you. OurShelves takes on the heavy lift of researching, staying up-to-date with new releases, and then delivering to your door the very best of today's diverse children's books.
Second, we are working to accelerate and expand the picture book industry's production and distribution of more high-quality diverse books. We are collecting your feedback on who and what stories remain missing on our shelves. We aggregate (anonymously) and share that feedback with publishers, while ensuring them that when they create responsive content, we stand ready to buy it in significant numbers. Learn more.
From President of the Maryland ACLU during our state’s marriage equality effort to organizing parents across the state of California to protect the child care subsidies of 59,000 children, I have repeatedly experienced how committed groups of people can come together and create significant change. OurShelves will do nothing less — together, we will change the picture book industry, for our children.
Thank you for joining us on this journey — together, we are going to ensure ALL children and ALL families have a place on OurShelves!
Alli, Founder of OurShelves
PS Meet my wife, Jenn, our daughter, Anna, and myself below! We hope to get to know you too - let us know why you care about diverse books!