Multiculti Children’s Books

Elsa Marston has a long and exhaustive article on the portrayal of Palestinians in children’s books.

Over the last fifteen years or so, multiculturalism in children’s literature has brought some much-needed attention to the Middle East. To be sure, most books still lean toward “safe” subjects — Arabian Nights, fairytales, and folklore. Increasingly, however, new books also offer thought-provoking views of the contemporary Arab world and its people.

Marston argues that while many of these books tended verged between the stereotypical and the offensive, there has been a change in trends since the mid-1990s, for example with the appearance of Naomi Shihab Nye’s Habibi. A very worthwhile read.