Former city worker Keisha Ehigie has launched Imagine Me Stories, a monthly subscription box which supplies black children's books and activities to help black children see their realities reflected in books.
The box which starts from £18.99/mth, includes 2-3 specially selected books and empowering activities which teach about black history and culture.
Keisha first noticed the lack of representation in children's books when her daughter turned two and started asking questions about her hair and skin colour.
"She's always loved books and we already had a large collection of very interesting stories. I noticed she was observing physical differences between her and her friends and decided to get her some books which had characters that looked like her, however, I soon realised that it was a struggle to find such books in traditional bookshops and retailers," Keisha explained.
"I started to do some research and discovered that children's books are far more likely to feature an animal character than a person of colour. Representation is vital to ensure that children see positive views of themselves and what they can achieve in society and every child should be able to see themselves reflected in the books they read."
She realised other black parents were also struggling with finding representation in children's books and decided to set up a subscription service to take out the hassle of searching for books. The Imagine Me Stories subscription, split into 3 age categories from 0-12, is designed to empower black children and build their self-esteem while helping them to learn about inspirational icons and trailblazers in the black community.
Keisha has been working with a number of UK publishers to source representative books and hopes that the demand created by the subscription box will help lead to more diverse children's books being published.
While there are efforts to draw attention to the achievements of the black community once a year through Black History Month, Imagine Me Stories helps to ensure that the learning doesn't end there.
A 2017 study funded by Arts Council England shows that of all the children's books published, only 1% featured a BAME main character.
Our BQ Bulletin emails will land in your inbox at 7.30am, Monday to Friday, with a mix of the latest local business news, national news, and features to inspire you. Sign up here!
Click here to read our privacy statement