Biblionef has a new ambassador: Mylo Freeman. Mylo is known for her dozens of beautifully illustrated picture books and AVI (reading level) textbooks. From the classic Potty, the picture book of the Children’s Book Week: Twins, to the series about Princess Arabella. Who is Mylo Freeman?
“As ambassador for Biblionef I expect to have a wonderful opportunity to help bring books to children in countries where there are few books for them. After all, children there need books just as much as children here. I am going to dedicate myself to getting the message of Biblionef across to everyone who wants to hear it; that seems like a great thing to do.”
Diversity and inclusion
“Just like Biblionef, I find diversity and inclusion in children’s books very important. Children should be able to recognise themselves in the characters in their books, including children of colour. Books are a window to the world, they help children to get to know the world. If you want to play a role in the world, it is very important that you see children who look like you in it. I’ve been working on the books about Princess Arabella for about 15 years now. When I started, there were hardly any children’s books about children of colour in the Netherlands, for example.
In the last few years I’ve seen a change, also with publishers who see the importance of diversity. So it is going in the right direction, but there is still room for improvement: more books in which Asian children or children of colour are the main characters, and not just in supporting roles. And it would be good if there were more writers and illustrators of colour. This is all, of course, also important for the children who receive books via Biblionef. They must also be able to recognise themselves.
Favourite children’s books
“My grandmother read to me regularly: Pinkeltje (Fingerling), Nijntje (Miffy) …. Alleen op de Wereld (Originally a French story, English title Nobody’s Boy) was also very nice. I liked reading those little pocket books and boys’ books, with adventures. I didn’t really have a favourite book but I always loved reading.”
The book that should have been there when I was a child
“Maybe the Princess Arabella books. As a toddler you don’t read yet, so pictures are very important then. I would have liked to see a black girl in my books, as a princess, an astronaut or a scientist… I really missed that, so I think it’s great that I can contribute to that now with my books.”
Watch the full interview with Mylo Freeman