Shuli de la Fuente- Lau

Representative Children's Literature

delafuentelau21-159proof.jpg

Shuli de la Fuente-Lau (she/her) is an assistant principal, creator of the Instagram @AsianLitforKids, and the Content Lead at LittleFeminist.com – a monthly book club subscription and publishing house.  Shuli lives in Oakland, California with her husband and two strong, spirited, and vibrant daughters.

Your Instagram account, @asianlitforkids, focuses on sharing titles of “Children’s books featuring characters of Asian and other BIPOC identities.” What is the significance and impact of representation in literature for children?

In July 2020, you started @asianlitforkids. What was the impetus in creating this account? How have your personal experiences and identities informed the content you share on this platform?

Now more than ever, social media is used as a platform to share resources and provide visibility of matters, such as activism, literature, and current events, in accessible ways. What impacts have you noticed as a result of your Instagram account (e.g. community building, etc.)? 

There are many ethnicities, nationalities, and identities that intersect with the Asian-American identity. The books you amplify on your account represent a wide variety of identities. How do you discover the books you feature on Instagram? Do you ever find it difficult to find equitable representation of diverse Asian-American identities?

Children’s literature is integral to the way that children form perceptions of themselves and others. However, literature focused on Asian and other BIPOC identities have either been tokenizing or historically been left out of classrooms. What criteria do you suggest for sharing representative texts that aren’t tokenizing? And how can educators and parents advocate for BIPOC literature to have a space on bookshelves, and ultimately in curricula? 

What are some forms of media (i.e. literature, films, podcasts) you would recommend to people who want to know more about Asian American Literature?