Diversity

When reading children’s books, I never really even thought of the diversity of each book but now that I have read these two articles, I realize how important it is.

In Brian Pinkney’s “Here I am!” article, he brings up the differences in children’s books that use a white character or black character as their front cover illustration. Before reading this article I never really though much of it. I just picked up a book no matter what it looked like and began reading it. But now I understand how it makes children feel when they look at the cover of that book. I loved the point that Pinkney made when he was talking about “Where The Wild Things Are”. He said, “He was me, and I was him. I saw myself through his adventures, not through his skin color.” I completely agree that no matter what skin color or ethnicity, every kid should feel important when it comes to reading books.

In the article “Mirrors, Windows, and Sliding Glass Doors” I really loved how the author explained how literature and books are like mirrors, windows and sliding glass doors. In this article I found another point that surprised me because I really hadn’t thought of it before. So many books are “white-people based” (if that makes any sense) and so many ethnicities (Native American, African American, Asian, etc.) are learning to read but don’t have anything to compare themselves to or find themselves in a book.

When I become a teacher, I will read books from many different cultures so my students can understand how important each culture and ethnicity is in our world. Like the second article said, “Our classrooms need to be places where all children from all the cultures that make up the salad bowl of American Society can find their mirrors.”

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9 thoughts on “Diversity

  1. I agree that students should get to experience all types of cultures. I have also noticed that more children’s books are “white” based than have culture in them. Have you ever looked at the Disney stories? Surprisingly there is actually a lot of culture in them.

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  2. Good Post!! I had also never really thought about the diversity in a book that I was reading. Maybe because I am white and most of the books portray whites. I think that we as future teachers need to try and get the students to relate to the story not just the pictures.

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  3. Great post!!! I really liked how you talked so much about the articles. Also I really like how you said when you are a teacher you are going to incorporate as much of the other ethnicities as you can! Great job!!!

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  4. I love what you say here, Tessa. You’re so right: young readers–all readers really–need to be able to see themselves in the books they read! We have to make sure that our book collections look like our classrooms when we’re teaching in diverse schools. But I think that when we teach mostly white students, we still need to think about diversity and how we’re helping our students understand and connect with people from different backgrounds and cultures.

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