Let me help you curate a globally diverse children’s library!
My name is Bunmi Emenanjo and I am the Founder of Atlas Book Club, a book subscription box company focused on globally diverse children’s books. When I was about ten years old, I picked up my first copy of Famous Five by Enid Blyton. I was transported into this English world full of adventure, mystery, and family complete with English tea and biscuits. And I. Was. Hooked! I eagerly awaited the availability of the next book in the series, as they were passed down from friends who were fortunate enough to afford and have access to these books.
Growing up in Nigeria, I remember reading everything from teen mystery novels to Shakespeare, the Arabian Nights, and the occasional Danielle Steel novel! I was a sponge and I devoured every book I could get my hands on. Books were my window out to the world and I was so fortunate to be exposed to different types of books. While we couldn’t afford to travel outside of the country, I travelled every time I opened a copy of The Taming of the Shrew, The Adventures of TinTin, or Nancy Drew. These books fueled my imagination and allowed me to dream of one day visiting those places!
I was also able to see myself in many of the books I read as my parents exposed my brothers and I to the works of great African writers, such as, Chinua Achebe and Wole Soyinka. Such books served as literary mirrors during my childhood! Exposure to these “mirror” books was extremely important in developing my sense of self and identity.
I founded Atlas Book Club in 2019 because I believe that my three children, and every child, should have the experience that I had growing up – every child should see themselves represented in the books that they read and have opportunities to be transported to other parts of the world through books! At Atlas Book Club, we believe books should serve as windows out into the world and as mirrors. Our core belief is that children who are exposed to other cultures develop a global awareness that allows them to be more empathetic, compassionate and to celebrate cultures different from their own. Children who see themselves represented in books will develop a strong sense of self and identity.
I would love to work with you to curate a globally diverse children’s book collection to ensure your home, school library, or education program is inclusive, culturally competent, and one where every child can discover themselves and the world.