Archive for ‘Multicultural’

May 28, 2011

1621: A New Look at Thanksgiving

1621: A New Look at Thanksgiving
Authors: Canterine O’Neill & Margaret M. Bruchac
Photographers: Sisse Brimberg & Cotton Coulson
Copyright 2001 National Geographic Society
ISBN: 0-7922-7027-4
Genre: Multicultural

In this informative and eye-opening text, a new and more accurate view of the first Thanksgiving in America is outlined and explored for the reader.  As has been documented during the last few decades, accounts of Native American life and how colonists developed what is now the United States have often been historically incorrect.  This book describes the events leading up to the well-known feast that took place between the English colonists and the Wampanoag people in 1621.  The differences in historical myth and what most likely happened on that day are discussed, including the absence of such things as feather headdresses, silver-buckled top hats, cranberry sauce, and mashed potatoes.  The photographs illustrate historically accurate clothing and activities and can be seen today at the Plimoth Plantation in Massachusetts.  The book also offers a timeline of events for the reader to better understand why the event might have occurred.  This text is an excellent portrayal of events that are often distorted in schools every fall.  Using this text with students may help them better understand why we celebrate Thanksgiving and how we must look at depictions of historical events with a critical eye.

May 27, 2011

Ellington Was Not a Street

Ellington Was Not a Street
Author: Ntozake Shange
Illustrator: Kadir Nelson
Text Copyright 1983 Illustrations Copyright 2004 Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
ISBN: 0-689-82884-5
Genre: Multicultural

Ellington Was Not a Street is an interesting introduction to many of the individuals who were a part of changing the culture during the Civil Rights era.  In this unique children’s book, Shange recalls her childhood home and the powerful men who entered her home and would later be remembered by the world.  Using an atypical poetry style, Shange prompts the reader to ask questions about the men in the story and piques their curiosity.  At the end of the story, there is a brief description of each of the characters and their contribution to the movement of change for African Americans.  This book would be an excellent addition to a classroom library!

May 21, 2011

Ella Sarah Gets Dressed

Ella Sarah Gets Dressed
Author/Illustrator: Margaret Chodos-Irvine
Copyright 2003 Harcourt, Inc.
ISBN: 0-15-216413-8
Genre: Picture Book

Any mother who has a little girl will be able to identify with the this story.  In Ella Sarah Gets Dressed, the main character, Ella Sarah, wants to choose her own clothes.  And her clothing choices are very typical of the preschool age.  Her desired outfit encompassed every color of the rainbow, and after being encouraged to wear matching outfits and even a set f hand-me-down overalls, Ella Sarah takes it upon herself to get dressed.  With bright, colorful illustrations, Ella Sarah’s clothing choices truly come to life in this excellent children’s book.