Starting in 2009, Saffron Tree has been celebrating a short and exuberant annual blog event, a festival of books we call CROCUS: Celebrating Reading of Culturally Unique Stories.
Each year, we adopt a theme after much deliberation and peaceful voting -- a theme that speaks to us at that time, a theme that guides our book picks to share during the few days of the festival.
For CROCUS 2016, we are focusing the spotlight on our fellow humans who are marginalized based on arbitrary criteria that usually defies logic. Folks who are practically cast aside because they do not fit the mould made for social acceptance. Folks whose physical or mental make-up is so different from the generally accepted idea of "normal" that they are pushed into social isolation.
What better way to break this cycle than by talking about it, through children's books that showcase kids of all sorts - kids with disabilities both physical and cognitive, kids who have suffered abuse, kids who have not had a stable home/family, kids whose gender identities are not binary, kids who simply want to be who they are and not be judged and categorized and limited in any way...
To seal the idea, our own talented Lavanya Karthik has created the gorgeous poster for our theme this year: Exploring Inclusive Narratives in Children's Literature.
Over the next four days, starting Dec 1 through Dec 4, we hope to bring children's books with diverse characters who believe that their disability is not a limitation, who know that their differences do not define them, and who help us see that their abilities cannot be measured and quantized in conventional terms.