"People very often talk about literacy with words, but there's such a thing as visual and thematic literacy," says Deborah Pope, the executive director of the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation, which encourages diversity in kids' books. "I think some of these young people just didn't really *read* the book." (Mr. Keats's groundbreaking classic, "The Snowy Day," which is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary this year, revolutionized children's literature by being the first mainstream picture book to feature a black male protagonist.)
Progress is so maddeningly slow. Still, thirty years ago, we wouldn't even be having this conversation. Everyone would just be white.