Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit, but I was angry. This sort of thing happens every time a mainstream media outlet decides to write about children's literature: Someone skims the surface and deems themself expert enough to write about us. This one struck a nerve with me, though, because I see this adoration within the field as well--and it translates directly into more money and opportunities for White men.
Good-looking men in this field, particularly White men, go straight to the top and cash in. (Christian Robinson was the only man of color named in this article--where the heckedy heck was Christopher Myers? Gene Luen Yang? Matt de la Pena? Kadir Nelson?) It's true of authors, illustrators, and librarians. And I can count the number of times I've heard one of these hotshots name his White-man-privilege in public on one hand.
So, let's balance the scales a bit, shall we? There are women in this field who should be rockstars, and women of color and First/Native Nations women have to work the hardest to get an iota of the recognition that some of these dudes get for showing up. I mean--have y'all read Zetta Elliott's books? Go read Bird and A Wish After Midnight and Room In My Heart (I'll still be here when you get back). Let's throw a parade every time Grace Lin comes to town. Coe Booth and Jenny Han deserve followings on par with the John Green devotees. How about we crowd around Rukhsana Khan or Cynthia Leitich Smith at the next party? Let's feature illustrators Vanessa Brantley-Newton and Julie Flett on bookmarks, pamphlets, calendars, and blogs. I want to see lines wrapping around the block for Kashmira Sheth and Kat Yeh. And Yuyi Morales--well, everything about her just makes me swoon.
Let's give it up for the women of color and First/Native Nations women who make this field great, who work twice as hard for half as much. Who am I missing? List it in the comments.