Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match

I love all the little details about how Marisol McDonald doesn’t “match” in any sense; she wears stripes and polka dots in the same outfit, she has red hair and brown skin, and she signs her name half in cursive and half in print. I love the details about how the Spanish/English isn’t “translated” between the two languages of Spanish and English. 

I also had never known the name of the poet Gabriela Mistral, although I knew most of the other poets that Monica Brown mentioned! When she says “It’s remarkable because our books don’t reflect our community, our culture. It’s a loss.” Which is true! So many of our books only reflect one version of The Way to Be, when there are so many ways to be, and it’s definitely a loss for our children. I’m glad that Monica Brown is working to change that.

I loved the sentence and point of “if we are to confront and understand race as both a central way in which we define ourselves and one another and as a construct that continues to be a significant factor in how our society parses its resources.”, which gets to the core of “we live in a white dominant culture society and it affects every aspect of our lives” in a much more succint and fancy way than I could have put it. How these conversations play out in classroom to classroom differs greatly as well. It’s also important to note that the article that “research shows that elementary students can effectively engage with substantive issues of race and culture,” just as we learned from the article “Children are not Colorblind”, so we know that these conversations are not going to waste. I loved the note about the invisible package, that’s something I might use in a classroom discussion: “an invisible package of unearned assets which [you/they] could count on . . . like an invisible weightless knapsack of special provisions, maps, passports, codebooks, visas, clothes, tools, and blank checks”.

It’s important to have books about multiracial identities because of the mirrors, windows, and sliding glass door principal: children see people like themselves (mirrors), windows into other “worlds” (windows), and sometimes step into those books (sliding glass doors and/or the plot of Inkheart by Cornelia Funke).

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