This book is a guide for teachers seeking to use multicultural literature in the early grades. It also serves as a valuable resource for classroom teachers who routinely use multicultural literature as part of their practice. In addition, the book is written for both undergraduate and graduate children’s literature and multicultural literature courses as well as for workshops or seminars focusing on teaching preschool to grade 3 children with multicultural books. Starting with exploring that particular culture, each chapter includes a step-by-step guide on how to select and evaluate literature on the culture. The classroom examples then showcase strategies and activities for classroom teachers. Finally, resources provide suggested children’s books and resources for understanding the culture.
Xiufang Chen, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Literacy Education in the Department of Language, Literacy and Sociocultural Education at Rowan University in New Jersey.
Susan Browne, EdD is an associate professor in the Department of Language, Literacy and Sociocultural Education at Rowan University.
Chapter One: Overview of Multicultural Literature for Younger Children in Classrooms
Chapter Two: Native American Literature
Chapter Three: African American Literature
Chapter Four: Asian American Literature
Chapter Five: Jewish Literature
Chapter Six: Latinx Literature
Chapter Seven: Middle Eastern Literature
Chapter Eight: Caribbean Literature
Chapter Nine: LGBTQ+ Literature
Chapter Ten: People with Disabilities
About the Contributors
Annotated bibliographies of literature resources on a particular subgenre are common. What sets Chen and Browne’s compilation apart from a standard reading list is their inclusion of guides to selecting and evaluating early-childhood cultural literature and instructional strategies and learning activities for classroom teachers to use while incorporating the suggested book and resource lists and other educator-chosen materials. As such, this guide is useful for practitioners, preservice educators, readers, and researchers. In addition to more commonly examined cultures (e.g., African American and Latinx), the chapters on Jewish and dis/ability experiences are particularly appreciated. Each chapter begins with a brief overview of the culture’s heritage and common themes examined in that culture’s literature before moving on to sources and uses. The book has a few drawbacks. It blends all Asian cultures into one chapter and does not give equal representation to those cultures in the source choices. Halfway through the book, the format of the resources changes, making the book less useful as a reference. Finally, considering all the included visuals, color printing would have been a worthy publisher choice. Recommended. Advanced undergraduates through faculty and professionals.
All throughout my master's program I wondered why a book like this didn't exist... now it does! I can only imagine the number of teachers, classrooms, and communities Chen and Browne will impact with such an imperative text that allows teachers to confidently, respectfully, and authentically represent diverse cultures through multicultural literature. Students will undoubtedly be supported in recognizing their own cultural identity while making connections to cultures different from their own. This book is a critical read for all educators to implement best practice strategies for introducing multicultural literature beginning in early elementary classrooms and beyond.
Chen and Browne bring together a wide-ranging collection of literacy practitioners, children's literature scholars, educators, and children's book activists to explore the critical importance of multicultural literature for young children. These culturally authoritative, leading voices guide us through practical steps for selecting, evaluating, and using multiethnic literature in the classroom while shining a light on diverse communities and pointing us to a plethora of first-rate resources. Part handbook, part manifesto for equity pedagogy, this ambitious work combines richly contextual, leading-edge scholarship with a clear-eyed, uncompromising focus on the humanistic imperative of education—an essential read for anyone with a stake in early years education and early childhood development.
In this edited collection, Chen & Browne provide a compelling offering of essays designed for practitioners, pre-service teachers and graduate students engaged in understanding and implementing pedagogy that centers multicultural literature in the curriculum. This book shares critical discussion about this literature while also offering readers creative and developmentally appropriate instructional activities that will surely resonate with and inspire young learners.
Xiufang Chen and Susan Browne’s Multicultural Books for PreK–Grade Three: A Guide for Classroom Teachers is a must-have reference book for preschool to K-3 educators with children who are super diverse racially, ethnically, culturally, and cognitively. The book’s focus on multicultural literature, with particular attention to specific cultures including those from communities of LGBTQ and learning disabilities in each chapter, not only serves as a practical guide but also a powerful tool for educators to celebrate diversity in their everyday teaching. It can also be used as a useful textbook for teacher educators to prepare equity-minded, culturally-relevant early childhood teachers.