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Essay 1

1034 words - 5 pages

Is it important for children to be able to see themselves in children’s books? Society has been changing the way in which children’s books have been written for years. When children’s books started to become published, it was hard to find children’s books about different cultures other than white culture. The children's books that were around were mainly about white people with generic names, and there were no people of a different culture or race involved. Children’s books that were published with a person of a different culture were very rare to find when they were starting to be published. After many years, you could find books about many different cultures and races, even their sub cultures. When children are able to see themselves and others in these diverse books about different cultures, including their own, they will not feel like they are invisible, they will learn to treat everyone equally and not exclude them or treat them differently, and they can learn more about their culture as well as others.
Children will feel invisible when they do not see books about themselves. If a child cannot find a book that has a picture of someone similar to them on the cover, they will feel as if they do not exist or matter to society. Having children’s books “that reflects the backgrounds of diverse students builds self-esteem and helps these students feel appreciated”, state Gollnick and Chinn from the article “Gender, Racial, and Ethnic Misrepresentation in Children’s Books: A Comparative Look”. Seeing diversity in books will show the children that there are books about themselves and their culture. They will get to see that everyone will have a book about himself or herself, and they will feel that they belong in society. Steiner, Nash, and Chase state in the article “A Method for Critical Analysis of Multicultural Picture Books” by Madsen, “Quality multicultural literature, provides an opportunity for all children to see themselves in books; fosters a positive self-esteem; prevents people from feeling isolated; and cultivates respect, empathy, and acceptance of people.” This is a great set of skills for children to understand and learn. It will help teach children that the world knows about them. Without learning these lessons, children will feel isolated and feel like they are not included or treated differently because they do not see a book about themselves.
Children are equal and should not be excluded or treated differently. If children are not included or treated differently, they will feel as if they are not equal to the other children. In Kortenhaus and Demarest’s study in 1993, that was stated in Morgan’s article, their “study took into consideration the roles that females played in various children’s books and found a decrease in sexism”. With this decrease, it shows children, especially the girls, which they can be the strong protagonists that are female and have a female hero to idolize. In today’s society, women can do anything a man...

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