Guest post by Roberto Concepcion Jr.
When you imagine a princess, you may think of the words kind, smart, brave, curious, strong, confident, independent, and, of course, beautiful! But every child has the capacity for these qualities. And although some people may have traditional expectations of them, children have dreams that far surpass those expectations.
Encouraging children to follow their dreams is one of the greatest gifts we can offer them. Inspired by the birth of my daughter Amina, I wrote More Than a Crown to encourage her — and other children around the world — to follow their dreams and reach for the stars.
More Than a Crown is an extension of my life’s work as a lawyer and a diversity, equity, and inclusion advocate to ensure that we all feel seen and heard. Given the proven role of the fairy tale in shaping the self-image of children, it is my hope that the book is one small step in ensuring that young children, particularly those of color, “see” themselves as the royalty – and developing leaders – that they are.
Additionally, as a single gay dad with proud Puerto Rican roots, I am keenly aware that media representations of families do not adequately reflect the beautiful diversity of family structures and backgrounds that exist. Through this book, I want children like Amina to “see” their families in all of their regal glory.
It is not lost on me that this book is the exception, rather than the norm. While the percentage of diverse children’s books published continues to increase, the number of children’s books written by authors of underrepresented identities has not kept pace. In 2017, for example, only 2% of children’s books had a Latinx main character or subject and were written or illustrated by Latinos. Similarly, less than 2% of children’s books had significant LGBTQ+ content and were written by an LGBTQ+ author. Hopefully, this book is another step in ensuring our stories are told, and our voices are heard.
Want to follow four brave princesses as they challenge traditional expectations of royalty and explore how they can change the world? Want to see heartwarming illustrations of families that look like yours? Pre-order your signed copy of More Than a Crown at www.morethanacrownbook.com today!