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This paper examines the portrayal of minority cultures in children's picture books. In picture books, the illustrations are as important as the text with respect to the meaning of the story. As a result, picture books have the potential to influence a child's view of other cultures. Currently, only three percent of picture books represent minority cultures. This results in two negative consequences: minority children may not see their own image reflected in books, and majority children may receive a distorted view of the real world. Also, the books that do represent minority cultures may represent them inaccurately or show stereotypical images. Multicultural literature introduces children to the values of other cultures. The reflection of these images should be evaluated for accuracy and presence of stereotypes. With multicultural literature, children gain a validation of their own background and values as well as an introduction to other cultures. Criteria for evaluating multicultural literature are also included. (Contains 28 references.) (JLB)

Descriptors: Childrens Literature, Cultural Enrichment, Cultural Images, Cultural Literacy, Cultural Pluralism, Elementary Education, Ethnicity, Evaluation Criteria, Illustrations, Minority Groups, Multicultural Education, Picture Books, Young Children

Autor: Creany, Anne Drolett; And Others


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