Viewing Children’s Books Through an Intersectional Lens

October 11 - November 2, 2021

Please note: this course is full. Please click here to be placed on our waiting list.

Viewing Children’s Books Through an Intersectional Lens: A Professional Development for Educators, Storytellers, & Publishing Professionals

  • 4-week online program with pre-recorded material and weekly live sessions on Thursdays at 7pm Eastern (October 14, 21 and 28) and a final session on Tuesday, November 2 at 7pm Eastern.




Reading and discussing children’s books makes for better children’s books. Whether you are critically reading as an educator, writer, illustrator, editor, agent, or publisher, this important work must be done thoughtfully and with an intersectional lens.

Join children’s book educators, researchers, scholars, and storytellers: Dr. Laura M. Jiménez, Franki Sibberson, Clare Landrigan, Lynsey Burkins, and Grace Lin to develop the skills needed to analyze children’s books for meaningful representation, reader engagement, visual literacy, and more!

Program participants will review recorded content weekly and prepare reflections for meaningful discussions in our live sessions. Please note: the Week Four material will center participant discoveries to share with the group.


  • You’re a writer or illustrator of books for children. This course is especially geared toward stories in the elementary grades, but is applicable for all storytellers.
  • You work in the publishing industry. Editors, agents, and publishing professionals will deepen their understanding of these essential conversations in the industry.
  • You’re a classroom teacher or you are teaching teachers. Reading, discussing, and analyzing children’s books is an essential skill for teachers at all levels.
  • You’re an ally in the fight for representation in children’s books. Join us to learn more and spread the word in all children’s lit spaces!
  • You’re building a library. Not with hammers and wood, but with BOOKS! Whether it is a personal library, public library, classroom library, school library, Little Free Library, and/or book collection for profit, this course will guide you to a more equitable and inclusive approach to gather books for children!


Please note: Participants are not required to purchase all texts for the weekly readings. Instead, you are encouraged to use your local library. If you do purchase, you are also encouraged to purchase from local independent bookstores.

Week One: October 11-14
Reading KidLit With An Intersectional Lens

Monday, October 11
Pre-recorded content release for Week One (introductions and opening presentation)

  • Welcome, Grace Lin
  • Centering the Story: Who is Represented, Who is Not, Laura M. Jiménez
  • Literature is a Liberatory Experience!, Lynsey Burkins
  • Using Complex & Engaging Literature with Intentionality, Franki Sibberson
  • Disrupting Nostalgia in Children’s Literature for the Classroom, Clare Landrigan

Thursday, October 14, 7-8pm Eastern
LIVE session: small group discussions

Week One Reading:

Week Two: October 18-21
Representation in Kidlit

Monday, October 18
Pre-recorded content release for Week Two

  • The Marketability and Flattening of #OwnVoices, Laura M. Jiménez
  • Incidental Representation: What it Means & What it Does, Lynsey Burkins
  • Benefits of #OwnVoices as a White Educator, Clare Landrigan and Franki Sibberson

Thursday, October 21, 7-8pm Eastern
LIVE session: Representation: #OwnVoices, Lived Experiences, Grace Lin

Week Two Reading:

  • A Big Moon Cake for Little Star by Grace Lin
  • “Jasilyn Charger: Water Protector,” a free verse poem by Joseph Bruchac from No Voice Too Small
  • “Zach Wahls: With All Due Respect,” a triolet poem by Lesléa Newman from No Voice Too Small
  • Lynsey Burkins: Incidental Diversity

Week Three: October 25-28
Critical Visual Literacy

Monday, October 25
Pre-recorded content release for Week Three

  • Enacting Critical Visual Literacy , Laura M. Jiménez
  • Lyrical Picture Books, Clare Landrigan
  • Student Critical Visual Question Stems, Lynsey Burkins
  • Book Composition: Front/Back Matter, Authors Notes, Embedded Visuals, Franki Sibberson

Thursday, October 28, 7-8pm Eastern
LIVE session: book talks, conversation about illustrations

Week Three Reading:

Week Four: November 2
Pulling it all together: Implications for the Classroom and Beyond

Note: no pre-recorded sessions this week.

Tuesday, November 2, 7-8pm Eastern
LIVE session: conversation on Cultural Tourism

Week Four Reading:

Intersectionality Reading



“I learned so much from the team of experts that led this workshop. It was a life-changing experience and I’m looking forward to the next workshop in this series of Essential Conversations.”


Laura M. Jiménez

Laura M. Jiménez is the Department Chair for Language & Literacy Education at Boston University’s Wheelock College of Education &…
Learn more

Grace Lin

Before Grace Lin was an award-winning and NY Times bestselling author/illustrator of picturebooks, early readers and middle grade novels, she…
Learn more

Lynsey Burkins

Lynsey Burkins is an elementary educator from Central Ohio. Racial and Social Justice work has been her passion long before…
Learn more

Franki Sibberson

Franki Sibberson is a literacy consultant with 33 years of classroom experience in Dublin, Ohio. She is past-president of the…
Learn more

Clare Landrigan

Clare Landrigan is a staff developer who is still a teacher at heart. After years serving as an educator and…
Learn more