Dear Teachers, Librarians, and Other Adult Readers,
In seeking anti-racist resources for my last two blogs/news items (June 4 and 11), I discovered Rudine Sims Bishop. She is professor emerita of education at Ohio State University and considered the “Mother of Multicultural Children’s Literature.” You can Google her name for more fascinating information about her and her work.
She explains the value of acquiring and reading books to teach diversity via these three metaphors:
- “Mirrors”: Books are mirrors that allow readers to see themselves within the pages, thus affirming their own cultural beliefs, social values, and self-worth.
- “Windows”: Books are windows that introduce cultures different from the reader’s own, thus fostering changes of negative attitudes and stereotypes, appreciation of differences and similarities, and gaining knowledge of the history of another culture. Bishop says kids need both “Mirrors” and “Windows.”
- “Sliding Glass Doors”: Books are the glass doors that can provide a safe environment for readers to look through, open, and walk through in their imaginations to enter and become part of whatever world, new or known, the author presents.
So, get a clue, Readers. When looking for books for kids, think about Bishop’s three metaphors. All kids deserve a bookshelf full of Sliding Glass Doors that are both Mirrors and Windows to help create happy, confident, anti-racist citizens.