Multicultural Literature

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by jlopez324
Last updated 7 years ago

Elementary School
Children Books

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Multicultural Literature

Maria had a little llama is a biligual book that puts the traditional nursery rhyme of "Mary had a little lamb" into the perspective of a little girl from Peru. The book does a wonderful job of helping readers visualize the culture and lifestyle of the Peruvian people and can give comfort to a newly immigrated child while helping them learn English through reading.

Glass Slipper, Gold Sandal is a great picture book to use to introduce the study of multiple cultures at once. This book takes the traditional Cinderella story and integrates 17 cultures into the telling of the story. The book shows clothing, food, and traditions from various cultures while keeping true to the classic Cinderella plot.

Under the Mesquite is a novel about a teenage girl struggling to balance school and fitting in while taking care of her younger siblings while her mother battles cancer. This book is great because it shows a Latina character who has to decide between staying true to her culture or becoming more like an American to pursue her dream of acting. The novel is written in the style of a poem and uses Spanish words and phrases to begin to immerse you into the Mexican culture.

Bridging cultures

Multicultural Literatureby Janelle Lopez

Yeh-Shen is the Chinese version of the Cinderella fairy tale. Young Yeh-Shen suffers through the loss of her father and her beloved pet fish but remains dedicated to the spirit of her fish who in turn gives her what she needs to survive. This book could be used to compare Cinderella stories from different cultures so that students can see how the small details of the same story can represent a culture and it's values.

Fair, Brown, and Trembling is the Irish version of the Cinderella fairytale. This picture book shows the importance of church and social status in the Irish culture. It would be interesting to compare the artistic styles between this book and Yeh-Shen in order to learn more about the cultures.


Tito Puente: Mambo King is a biography of the singer Tito Puente. This bilingual book can help bring the comforts of home to immigrant children through reading and give them hope of a successful future. The book integrates Spanish words and the illustrations highlight the colorful nature of Latino culture and the importance of family.

Niño Wrestles the World is a beautifully illustrated book that highlights the Lucha Libre sport of Mexico. This book o is good to use as multicultural literature because it gives information on different cultural icons through the story and gives the history of Lucha Libre while using the illustrations to display the artistic style of the sport.

Bilingual Books

Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote is the story of a mogrant worker's son who goes out to find his dad after he does not return when he is supposed to. A coyote (a methaphor for a smuggler) helps Pancho get to the North but tries to eat him when there is no more food. Pancho, however, is saved and reunited with his father who hears his cries. This book would be good to use in helping migrant children adjust to their new home.

Picture Books

For young adults


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