Join our newsletter for South-Asian book recos by age & to get free creative tools

This season of Kitabi Qisse was incredible in that we have met with stalwarts of the South-Asian book industry. This week we met with founder of Toka Box, Preethi Chandrasekhar. She talks about using book as a way to connect with kids, and why we still have some way to go for improving incidental representation in literature.

help your kids find stories

get a storytelling box and prompts

In this conversation, Preethi talked about how her journey as a curator and bookseller began. She talks about the importance of belonging in her work. We also talked a little about the role of language learning in sharing culture and heritage. And while, all these are important, it is also critical for books to mirror real-life experiences of kids.

Preethi talked about the need to improve incidental representation of South-Asians in books. These books may not impart any cultural learning, but still reflect the day to day experiences of children and families.

These conversations and work from leaders like Preethi are helping push the dialog for diversity in books forward. We hope that as parents, readers, and families, you’re supporting the work by listening and being a part of this work.

About Preethi

Preethi Chandrasekhar is the Founder of Toka Box. She channels her profound love for books into creating a diverse and engaging world for children. With a dedicated journey spanning 9 years in the children’s book realm, she began by reviewing South Asian children’s Literature which evolved into curating these books for Toka Box.

Her mission for Toka Box was ignited by the realization that children, like her daughter, lacked access to representative books that serve as mirrors reflecting their lives.

Having grown up with books that didn’t mirror her experiences, she is passionately committed to ensuring that her daughter’s generation and the ones after that encounter literature that says, “You matter!” Through Toka Box, Preethi strives to make a meaningful impact and to create a literary landscape that resonates with diverse stories for young readers.