The National Centre for Australian Children’s Literature has introduced Australia’s first database of culturally diverse children’s books.
The Cultural Diversity Database (CDD) contains more than 90 years of research undertaken by the NCACL. Since 1926, the organisation has gathered more than 340 books by Australian writers and illustrators for early childhood to late secondary students.
The collection has been curated by experts and judged on the quality of writing and illustration, the readability and the strength of content. Stories selected for the database encourage readers to “walk in another’s shoes” and gain an understanding of cultures other than their own.
Included in the database are picture books, nursery rhymes, plays, short stories and graphic novels. Key story concepts include empathy, family, kindness, resilience and respect.
The NCACL’s effort to champion multiculturalism in Australian children’s literature is part of a worldwide approach to highlight culturally diverse books for kids. Canada and North America have curated their own collection of stories, and soon the U.K will have completed a list of their own.
The NCACL is encouraging parents, caregivers, home schooling groups, teachers, librarians and students to use the free service. The database includes annotations and a search function aligned to the Australian Curriculum and Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF).
Free access to the Cultural Diversity Database is available on the NCACL’s website: https://www.ncacl.org.au/resources/databases/.