Listed at the Children's Book Council's Diversity Resources for Writers page, this article by Nisi Shawl, Appropriate Cultural Appropriation is well-worth reading.
"Rather than looking at a binary choice between (mis)appropriating a culture and avoiding its mention, we can consider a spectrum of roles it’s possible for transcultural writers and readers to play.
We can examine works in which authors have attempted to write about, or extrapolate from, another person’s culture for ways in which they succeed or fail.
We can question and reground our desire to write about other cultures."
Among those important questions:
Are we approaching another culture as an invader? A tourist? A guest?
What's "the best point of view from which to recount a transcultural tale"?
Are we honoring the value of things like "ideas, beliefs, customs, paradigms, and other non-physical artifacts"?
There's so much to consider. Read the full article here.
Illustrate, Translate, and Write On,