We here at OutlooK-12 celebrate diversity and believe that exposure to other cultures is an enriching experience. Because of this, we are featuring a special “School Library” section this month with selected titles from a list of must-have multicultural books for children and preteens. Originally compiled by the Cooperative Children's Book Center, the School of Education and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the full list is available on the National Education Association’s website and can be viewed at http://www.nea.org/grants/50-multicultural-books.html.
“Hairs/Pelitos” by Sandra Cisneros
Illustrated by Terry Ybáñez Publisher: Dragonfly Books
This jewel-like vignette from Sandra Cisneros' best-selling “The House on Mango Street” shows through simple, intimate portraits the diversity among us. This bilingual picture book paints imaginative, vivid pictures of members of a family who can have hair that is “all up in the air” like a broom or smells like “the warm smell of bread before you bake it” or can even have blue or purple skin. Swirling backgrounds framed with items like jump ropes, coffee cups and shoes create a colorful backdrop for Cisneros’ rhythmic writing style while reinforcing the book’s theme of individual uniqueness and family unity.