Multiculturalism and Older Children’s Books

Child_lit has been hopping recently as old and new subscribers debate whether or not older books are problematic today in terms of cultural issues.  Three of the books discussed have been topics before and my good friend and colleague fairrosa has archived some of these discussions at her website.   While the discussions are from years ago they are still very interesting.  The ones explicitly related to the current child_lit threads are: Little Black Sambo, Little Black Sambo by Bannerman: thoughts on racism in children’s literature, and Tikki Tikki Tembo and Cultural Accuracy in Folktales.

And also highly, highly, highly recommended is the post, “Examining The Five Chinese Brothers ” that fairrosa (“100% Chinese: half Han, half Manchurian, born and raised in Taiwan” she points out) has just placed on her blog — a totally superb examination of another book currently being much criticized on the list.

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