Archipelago Books has a very specific mission: encourage artistic exchange between cultures to increase global understanding and dissolve stereotypes.
For 16 years, the non-profit Park Slope publisher has been doing that by publishing international and translated literature for adults, and more recently has launched its children’s imprint, Elsewhere Editions.
And right now, it is holding an online auction to fundraise for the imprint.
Archipelago Books founder Jill Schoolman said Elsewhere Editions aims to develop children’s curiosity and empathy towards different perspectives through cross-cultural storytelling, on top of providing beautiful picture books from around the world.
“The more we looked at children’s literature, we realized the need for innovative work to come out in translation and be published here. There is whole world of really visionary and wonderful children’s books out there,” she said.
The imprint grew out of the belief children deserved not only to recognize themselves and their own experiences in the stories they read, but also to imagine different ways of seeing and living, Schoolman said. Schoolman said the team had a strong vision of what they were looking for in literature, wanting to publish innovative, visionary and powerful works that didn’t talk down to children.
“I feel like it’s so important for children, and everyone, to grow up with an idea of the world and be curious about the rest of the world,” she said. “If kids grow up reading about different cultures it will instill a curiosity for culture, and a love of literature, and they will learn to embrace difference rather than reject it.”
The auction will feature over 20 emerging and established artists—including land artist and photographer Michelle Stuart; poet and artist Cecilia Vicuña; Hugo Guiness, whose illustrations have been featured in publications such as The New York Times, The New Yorker, and Vogue; illustrator Liana Finck; Carmen Winant; Kandis Williams; ceramicist Betty Woodman; comic book author and artist Aidan Alexis Koch; photographer Mitch Epstein; among others.
The auction will provide funding for the publisher to keep building its list of international and translated children’s books. Online bidding starts Monday, June 8 and runs until Monday, June 22.
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