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Writing a kid’s story that resonates within the first few minutes takes entire months (or years) to pen down. Add to it a representation of diverse characters which more than half of the world has been bereft of for so long. 70% of children’s books and young adult literature feature white characters (that skew male) and animals. With her thoughtful work, Suma Subramaniam changes that, one story at a time.

We are excited to present a chat with Suma featuring a unique reading tip – who should you read to? :-). Also find plenty of fun recommendations of children’s books from South Asian authors that she’s excited about.

Find the latest storytelling workshops

There’s a new one for children!

Why does diversity in a kid’s story matter?

It’s worth repeating that having representation in literature is a mirror for readers young and old. But particularly for younger people, it allows them to see role models, and feel a sense of familiar comfort. They need to find spaces where they are not outsiders or exotic cultures. Creating this familiar bond within a kid’s story requires our publishers to seek out authors like Suma. Writing and creating an authentic world that truly represents lived experiences and a different culture

This is a push from Peerbagh to our readers, please choose books from diverse authors. We want to constantly advocate for books that speak to all children through a kid’s story they will remember forever!

Head over to see all of Suma’s responses here!

As a reminder, Kitabi Qisse is a virtual gupshup with South-Asian authors, illustrators, and creatives. These are posted as shorts on our Instagram and are shared here in the Journal.

If you want to nominate a desi creator for this series, write to us here.

About Suma Subramaniam

Suma Subramaniam telling a kid's story that resonates

Suma Subramaniam’s interests in writing for children are centered around STEM/STEAM related topics as well as India and Indian heritage.

When she’s not recruiting by day or writing by night, she’s volunteering for We Need Diverse Books and SCBWI or blogging about children’s books. 

Suma is the author of Namaste Is A Greeting, She Sang For India, and other books for children and young adults. Her poems have been published in the Poetry Magazine.

She lives in Seattle with her family and a dog who watches baking shows. Learn more HERE.