Showing posts from July, 2017

Blackberry Blue, Aladdin, and Representation

As is turning out to be unfortunately usual, I had something to write that was topical last week but didn't have time to write until this week. I've been on my work placement as part of my MA studies at a children's literature museum, which has been absolutely wonderful for many reasons, not the least of which is the mountains of children's books surrounding me at all times. I recently came across Blackberry Blue, a collection of fairytales by Jamila Gavin, and absolutely adored it. The tales are not specific stories like Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty but use elements of many fairytales and related tropes to tell new stories with canonically non-white protagonists. They are beautiful, enchanting, well-told stories and I could not recommend it enough.

I was reading this book as the news that Disney is apparently unable to find a single middle Eastern actor to play Aladdin was making the rounds. There is, of course, an entire film industry full of middle Eastern actors b…