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The controversial issue of cultural authenticity in children's literature resurfaces continually, always eliciting strong emotions and a wide range of perspectives. This collection explores the complexity of this issue by highlighting important historical events, current debates, and new questions and critiques. Articles in the collection are grouped under five different parts. Under Part I, The Sociopolitical Contexts of Cultural Authenticity, are the following articles: (1) "The Complexity of Cultural Authenticity in Children's Literature: Why the Debates Really Matter" (Kathy G. Short and Dana L. Fox); and (2) "Reframing the Debate about Cultural Authenticity" (Rudine Sims Bishop). Under Part II, The Perspectives of Authors, Illustrators, and Editors on Cultural Authenticity, are these articles: (3) "Who Can Tell My Story?" (Jacqueline Woodson); (4) "'Around My Table' Is Not Always Enough" (W. Nikola-Lisa); (5) "Authentic Enough: Am I? Are You? Interpreting Culture for Children's Literature" (Susan Guevara); (6) "The Candle and the Mirror: One Author's Journey as an Outsider" (Judi Moreillon); (7) "A Mess of Stories" (Marc Aronson); (8) "To Stingo with Love: An Author's Perspective on Writing Outside One's Culture" (Kathryn Lasky); and (9) "Multiculturalism Is Not Halloween" (Thelma Seto). Under Part III, Political Correctness and Cultural Authenticity, are these articles: (10) Beyond Political Correctness" (Hazel Rochman); (11) "The Complexity of Debates about Multicultural Literature and Cultural Authenticity" (Violet J. Harris); (12) "'Authenticity,' or the Lesson of Little Tree" (Henry Louis Gates, Jr.); and (13) "Multicultural Literature and the Politics of Reaction" (Joel Taxel). Under Part IV, The Perspectives of Educators on Cultural Authenticity, are these articles: (14) "Can We Fly across Cultural Gaps on the Wings of Imagination? Ethnicity, Experience, and Cultural Authenticity" (Mingshui Cai); (15) "Accuracy and Authenticity in American Indian Children's Literature: The Social Responsibility of Authors and Illustrators" (Elizabeth Noll); (16) "Accuracy Is Not Enough: The Role of Cultural Values in the Authenticity of Picture Books" (Weimin Mo and Wenju Shen); (17) "Artistic Triumph or Multicultural Failure? Multiple Perspectives on a 'Multicultural' Award-Winning Book" (Laura B. Smolkin and Joseph H. Suina); (18) "Images of West Africa in Children's Books: Replacing Old Stereotypes with New Ones?" (Vivian Yenika-Agbaw); and (19) "Use of Spanish in Latino Children's Literature in English: What Makes for Cultural Authenticity? (Rosalinda B. Barrera and Ruth E. Quiroa). Under Part V, Connecting Cultural Authenticity to the Classroom, are these articles: (20) "Multiple Definitions of Multicultural Literature: Is the Debate Really Just 'Ivory Tower' Bickering?" (Mingshui Cai); (21) "The Trivialization and Misuse of Multicultural Literature: Issues of Representation and Communication" (Zhihui Fang; Danling Fu; Linda Leonard Lamme); and (22) "'I'm Not from Pakistan': Multicultural Literature and the Problem of Representation" (Curt Dudley-Marling). (NKA)

Descriptors: Childrens Literature, Cultural Context, Elementary Education, Literary Criticism, Multicultural Literature, Picture Books, Political Correctness, Story Telling

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Autor: Fox, Dana L., Ed.; Short, Kathy G., Ed.


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