Lil’ Libros, a bilingual children’s media company that encourages reading in two languages and publishes books celebrating diversity and inclusion, raised $2 million earlier this month.
Founded by mothers Patty Rodriguez and Ariana Stein, Lil’ Libros started their fundraising campaign by asking people to help them become the first children’s book publisher owned by the community.
“We’ve spent our entire lives supporting brands and giant businesses that monopolize markets and lose [a] sense of community,” the campaign says. “Now you have the opportunity to be part of the fastest-growing bilingual independent children’s media company while working toward building wealth and fixing the lack of resources, a problem we’ve been facing for generations.”
This month, Lil’ Libros announced on its social media platforms that it had broken the $2-million mark and thanked everyone who invested in the company.
“Two million dollars raised in less than 5 days in the middle of a holiday weekend,” the company posted on July 6. “Woah!!! You did this! We are speechless, grateful, and pumped to continue on this journey with you! We are going to the moon, together!”
With the funds, Rodriguez and Stein hope to continue to work towards making the children’s publishing industry more inclusive. In 2020, Lil’ Libros said only 6.1 percent of books focused on Latinx characters. Their solution is to provide Latinx and Black authors and illustrators a platform to reach mainstream audiences and increase the number of multicultural books published in the U.S.
“We started this company with one goal: to create high-quality books and products reflective of our children,” Rodriguez and Stein said in a statement. “You helped us get here, and so now we want you to grow with us.”
To date, Lil’ Libros has sold over 1.5 million books worldwide. These include books on labor and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta, TV icon Walter Mercado, and Tejano star Selena Quintanilla.