About the author: Guda Gayle-Evans, PhD, is Assistant Professor, Early Childhood Education, at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg. She teaches courses in Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education and Social and Psychological Foundations of Education. Dr. Gayle-Evans was born in Jamaica and received her degrees from York University, Ontario, Canada; Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey; and Indiana State University. Her area of interest is multi-cultural education and its impact on early childhood.2004 0-7734-6474-3
Today’s schools are very diverse. As a result, many teachers and parents are faced with the challenge of helping children understand and accept differences. Multicultural literature provides an ideal way to expose children to how much we are alike even if we are different.
This annotated list of over three hundred multicultural children’s books is a comprehensive list of books from diverse cultures. Children from different cultures as well as children for whom English is not their first language will see themselves represented in authentic ways. Children from mainstream America will also have the opportunity to learn about different cultures.
While there is a plethora of multicultural literature for children, there is an absence of tools to connect the literature to activities. In this book there are several activities which are connected to and support the stories discussed. These activities, along with the "A Suggestion to Broaden Cultural Awareness” section, allow adults and children to view literature and cultural diversity from different perspectives. Children considered different will feel validated as they begin to learn that being different is not a deficit.
Early childhood and elementary teachers will find this annotated list of books a good resource for connecting children to books. The variety of books will also help children to understand and appreciate the positive aspects of diversity.