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+ 30 Book Look Jasmine C. Harris October 18, 2013

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+30 Book Look

Jasmine C. HarrisOctober 18, 2013

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30 Picture books were randomly selected from displays at a Public Library.

Books were reviewed for the presence of a multicultural element.

Covers were analyzed for featured images, gender, and types of illustrations.

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Bone Dog by Eric RohmannThis is the story of a friendship between a boy, Gus, and his dog Ella. Old age separates Ella from Gus. This picture book is great for helping children understand a lose caused by death. The Halloween focus adds an interesting element to the story with creepy skeleton characters. The pictures are simply and bold with black outlined images prominently drawn atop blues and whites for backgrounds.

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A Mango in the Hand by Antonio SacreThis is a beautifully illustrated picture book that captures the colors of Hispanic culture. This picture book is excellent for teaching traditional Hispanic culture as the story interweaves Hispanic proverbs. Readers will also learn Spanish phrases as the story is told using both English and Spanish.

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Chopsticks by Amy Krouse RosenthalThe idea of friendship while maintaining individuality is taught in this story. The main characters are chopsticks amongst a variety of kitchen utensils as friends. The illustrations and colors are vivid with a simple white background. The story is told in non-rhyming words with one or two sentences per page. Uniquely, elements of Asian culture are illustrated throughout the story.

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Pip and Posy The Scary Monster by Axel SchefflerThe characters in this story are a rabbit and a mouse. The story of friendship is told with simple wording and one to two sentences on each page. Large words against a white background are helpful for young children who are beginning to read. Illustrations are large and colorful.

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Animals Home Alone by Lose RiphagenAnimals Homes Alone is a fun and vividly colored book. The colorful and detailed illustrations tells a story without words of mischievous animals and the destruction of their human’s house. There is something new to see on each page. There are questions on the inside front and back covers to help guide readers through the book.

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One of Those Days by Amy Krouse RosenthalOne of Those Days is a quick read with simple one-line sentences on each page. The illustrations are large and colorful featuring children of a variety of ethnic backgrounds. Children will learn how to cope with a not so good day.

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How I Spent My Summer Vacation by Mark TeagueThis picture book uses rhyming words to tell the adventure of Wallace Bleff’s time as a cowboy. Illustrations are beautiful and can lead to discussions about Hispanic culture with the mentioning of a matador.

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The Apple Pie that Papa Baked Lauren ThompsonThis story features the bond between father and daughter. The simple tan, black, and cream color combination of this book helps to feature the bright red apples that star in the pie. Wording is simple with buildable sentences that trace back to how the pie was baked.

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Hogwash by Karma WilsonHogwash is a four liner-rhyming sentences picture book. Illustrations feature pigs behaving like humans. They outsmart their human as they try to avoid getting washed. Pictures are detailed, but cartoon like adding to the light-hearted nature of the story.

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Dinosaur Vs. The Library by Bob SheaThe large words and prominent illustrations of this picture book are great for young readers. The colorful illustrations also depict animals talking and behaving like humans. The story of a Dinosaur behaving not so nicely teaches young readers about being polite.

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The Duckling Gets a Cookie!? By Mo WilemsIn The Duckling Gets a Cookie!? Pigeon tries to understand why he doesn’t get the things he asks for. The simple illustrations set a foundation for a humorous story with simple large text wording. Young children will enjoy the soft colors and the funny misgivings of Pigeon.

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Benny’s Brigade by Arthur BradfordBenny’s Brigade is a slightly over sided book all the better to fit beautiful large and realistic illustrations. Two sisters find a small shell with a smaller walrus inside. Together the sisters work with their friends to return the walrus to its natural habitat. Through the lovely illustrations of a diverse group of children, young readers will learn the value of friendship and respect for differences.

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You Can’t Take a Balloon Into the Metropolitan Museum by Jacqueline Preiss Weitzmann and Robin Preiss GlasserYou Can’t Take a Balloon Into the Metropolitan Museum is a story without words. The illustrations uniquely highlight the main actions of the story with color so that viewers can follow without confusion. Young readers of this story will learn a great deal about art with photo cut outs of famous sculptures and paintings.

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Brown Bear, White Bear by Svetlana PetrovicBrown Bear, White Bear tells the story of race. Her African American grandmother gives her a brown bear and a white grandmother gives her a white bear. Both the grandmothers tease about which bear Alice loves best. This teasing transcends to the behavior of the bears as they fight to capture all of Alice’s attention. In the end, young readers will learn the lesson of race, culture and equality.

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Say Hello by Rachel IsadoraSay Hello takes readers through a colorful neighborhood of many different cultures. Young children will learn how to say hello in many different languages; including, Spanish, Hebrew, Japanese, Swahili, French, Arabic, Mandarin, and Italian. The beautiful illustrations help to identify the custom dress for each culture.

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Secret Pizza Party by Adam RubinSecret Pizza Party features a raccoon behaving like a human as he plots to get pizza. The story is told in an omniscient voice that talks to the raccoon and helps him plan his secret party. The wording is simple with few sentences on each page. Illustrations are dark at some points and light at others.

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Quiet in the Garden by AlikiQuiet in the Garden explores a little boy’s quiet space. He sits in his garden and allows himself to hear the activities of the garden creatures. His imagination escapes him as he creates a conversation for each creature. The beautifully illustrated colors capture the very essences of life in a garden.

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The Lonely Phone Booth by Peter AckermanThe Lonely Phone Booth tells the story of the rise of technology and the demise of analog. The phone booth was once a necessity in the community until the cell phone arrived. A storm knocks the power out and sends people flocking back to the phone booth for service. Wording is simple and illustrations incorporate beautiful earth tones.

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Angelina’s Island by Jeanette WinterAngelina’s Island is an immigration story. Angelina copes with her new home in American while lamenting her beautiful island of Jamaica. She list all the things she misses and how she does not fit into her new home, until her mom tells her about a festival that celebrates her heritage.

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Khadija and the Mirror by Da’Vel Kent-BeyKhadija and the Mirror is a story of confidence. Khadija does not fit in and thinks that she is not liked. She finds a magical mirror that shows her how to be more confident in her abilities. Older children will love the bold illustrations as they learn how to grow into themselves and understand self-confidence.

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Get Dolled Up by Cynthia RylantBrownie plays dress up with her cat Pearl. Large bright photos will be a wonderful visual experience for young children. Words are in large bold print. The story is told in a non-rhyming text with few words on each page.

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Jangles a Big Fish Story by David ShannonJangles a Big Fish teaches the story of right and wrong. Jangles is a large fish that is sought after by everyone. One day the little boy telling the story is saved by Jangles, but still desires to capture the big fish anyway. The boy has a change of heart and sets the big fish free. This book is for older kids, as sentences are lengthy. Illustrations capture the enormity of the big fish with beautiful color.

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Those Darn Squirrels Fly South by Adam RubinOld Man Fookwire is a grumpy old man pestered by squirrels. When fall comes the squirrels “fly” south, and Old Man Fookwire begins to miss them. Squirrels behave like humans in this story. Illustrations use soft light colors. Sentences are lengthy.

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Opposites Everywhere Sign Language for Opposites by Dawn Babb ProchovincIllustrations features animals behaving like humans. The characters are used to illustrate opposites. On each page a particular word is bolded. A sign is then given for that bolded word. Images are bright and sentences are simple.

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Aliens Love Underpants by Claire Freedman and Ben CortAliens invade earth to capture underpants. Illustrations are large and colorful and feature a potentially scary topic in a light-hearted and funny way. Rhyming sentences are simple with no more than four lines on the page.

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Vampirina Ballerina Hosts a Sleep Sleepover by Anne Marie PaceVampirina is a Vampire girl. In the story she teaches readers how to plan and throw a sleepover. Simple sentences help to tell the story with very few words on each page. Images are elaborate at times, but help to pleasantly illustrate a potentially scary theme.

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My Octopus Arms by Keith BakerPreschoolers will enjoy Octopus as he demonstrates how he uses all eight of his arms. Sentences are simple and the large and bright illustrations capture the octopus as he behaves like a human. The feature of other sea creatures will spark conversation about sea life.

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In the Rain with Baby Duck by Amy HestIn the Rain with Baby Duck features ducks behaving like humans, as a duck family traverses the streets on a rainy day. Despite the rainy day theme, illustrations cast a bright light. Sentences are complex, but boldly printed on the page.

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Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin HenkinsLily has a difficult day at school when her favorite teacher takes her favorite purse, quarters, and glittery glasses. She does not quite know how to cope with discipline so she draws a not-so-nice picture of her teacher. When she regrets her bad behavior she makes plans to redeem herself. This is a story of good behavior while in school.

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In Like a Lion Out Like a Lamb by Marion Dane BauerThe rhyming words of this book use a lion to describe the roaring weather of winter. Sentences are simple and accompanied with the whimsical illustrations are fun to read. Young readers will find this book ideal for the changing seasons.

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+30 Book LookFindings

15 books featured humans

13 books featured animals

4 books featured characters that are neither animals nor human

10 books with boys as the main characters

10 books with girls as the main characters

6 books sex unknown

Of the 30 books 9 have a multicultural presence

10 books depict children with animals

12 books depict animals acting like humans

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+30 Book LookFindings

The results show that there are few books with a multicultural element.

Male and females are equally featured.

Animals are predominately favored in children’s literature.

However, there are options for parents and teachers to help expose their children to other cultures.

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+30 Book LookMulticultural books for Children

My Name in Yoon by Helen Recorvits

H.O.R.S.E a Game of Basketball and Imagination by Christopher Myers

Whistle for Willie by Ezra Keats

Pecan Baby by Jacqueline Woodson

Aunt Harriet’s Underground Railroad in the Sky by Faith Ringgold

My Dadima Wears a Sari by Kashmira Sheth

The Korean Cinderella by Shirley Climo

Sundiata Lion King of Mali by David Wisniewski

Brothers of the Knight by Debbie Allen

Golem by David Wisniewski

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+30 Book LookResources for Parents and teachers

First Book www.firstbook.org

Flavor Wire 10 Multicultural Book for Children http://flavorwire.com/400364/10-great-multicultural-childrens-books/

Reading is Fundamental- RIF’s Multicultural BookList http://www.rif.org/us/literacy-resources/multicultural/2012-multicultural-booklist.htm

Scholastic’s How to Choose the Best Multicultural Books http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/article/how-choose-best-multicultural-books

Goodreads Best Multicultural Books http://www.goodreads.com/list/show/3721.Best_Multicultural_Books_for_Children

Amazon’s Children’s Multicultural Story Books http://www.amazon.com/Multicultural-Books-for-Children/lm/R1I1AQK6Y16AB8

Ipl2.org- For Kids http://www.ipl.org/div/pf/entry/48493