Essay on Picture Book Analysis

Essay on Picture Book Analysis

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Picture books are commonly used when reading to children in elementary school. Illustrations throughout picture books help children to visualize and understand the context of the stories. Yet, sometimes these illustrations and underlying themes may not portray an accurate or authentic perspective on the characters of the story. This can often be the case when labeling a book multicultural, yet portraying the American or European perspective on the culture, which is why I will be analyzing a book about Native Americans.
In order to conduct this analysis I had to first find a multicultural picture book, which lead me to the library of the school I am conducting my field experience in. The librarian pointed out a section labeled multicultural and allowed me to browse through the books. After searching through the stack she provided, I came across an author that I had previously heard of. The author was Syd Hoff. He is commonly known for a serious of “I can read books,” such as Danny and the Dinosaur, Sammy the Seal, and Oliver. So, I decided to use his book titled Little Chief for my analysis, seeing-as-how it was categorized under the multicultural section of this school’s library.
The book Little Chief by Syd Hoff tells a story of a Native American boy who seems lonely with no one to play with. So, one day he pretends to be a hunter and becomes friends with this sad buffalo who has lost his herd. Little Chief helps the buffalo find his herd and while doing so comes across a wagon train that enters into the valley. This wagon train brings younger children for Little Chief to play with, however a problem arises when the children are playing and almost get trampled by the buffalo herd. Little Chief is the only one who can save t...


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...e Americans. As a whole group we can conclude the lesson by charting answers and explaining stereotypes that are depicted.
Overall, from our own class discussions and by completing this analysis on a multicultural book, I have found that multiculturalism can sometimes be a difficult topic to teach. You have to be conscious about the materials that you use and you also have to try and incorporate various perspectives on culture not just mainstream beliefs and ideas. It is also very important to make sure that the lessons are engaging, but at the same time foster challenging discussions which may not have a complete answer. I hope that with time and experience I will be able to successful teach topics about diversity and multiculturalism that help students to become more aware of not only their own identity, but characteristics of other cultures and beliefs.

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