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ERIC Number: ED438558
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000
Pages: 12
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
What Is Good Multicultural Children's Literature and How Do We Critique It? Distinguishing between Image and Value.
Reddish, Barbara Smith
Multicultural literature is one good way to raise children's awareness of diversity, but how does one decide what constitutes "good" multicultural children's literature? Most any book can be critiqued from numerous perspectives: first and foremost is the book's literary quality--plot, character development, setting, themes, and style; of secondary importance is the author's and/or illustrator's handling of a particular social issue, such as gender or cultural depictions of the characters. Critical analysis requires the use of specific language. Three different pages of Wade Hudson's "I Love My Family" (1993) were analyzed as to the use of language, taking two opposing views to demonstrate that each reader will have a unique interpretation, and that each opinion is valid, provided it is supported with evidence. The novel depicts an African-American family which gathers each summer for a family reunion on Grandpa Lawrence's farm in North Carolina. Also analyzed is Sherley Anne Williams's "Working Cotton" (1944), which depicts an African-American family of migrant laborers working in the cotton fields of the American South. Analysis suggests that there can be more than one model for family values, and that it is the interactions between family members that demonstrate values, whether the family is shown relaxing in their home or laboring in cotton fields. It is essential that classrooms contain books that depict a wide variety of cultures and of family constellations, showing characters in a wide variety of roles. (NKA)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A