The Missouri Reader Vol. 40, Issue 3 - Page 36

place on his way to Iowa. The author portrays the poverty of Tomás’ parents and their hard work under the hot sun. Pat Mora depicts the importance of storytelling within the Latino culture.

In this story, the protagonist is encouraged by his grandfather to learn new stories by visiting the library. Here, the teacher can promote reading by telling the students that they can be like Tomás and learn new stories at the library. When Tomás visited the library, he met the library lady who only spoke English. After the library closed, Tomás went back to his family and shared the new stories he had learned. The teacher can instruct the students that they, too, can share their stories with their families, adding to their culture.

After sharing his new stories with his family, Tomás went back to the library. The librarian asked Tomás to read to her, and also for him to teach her Spanish which showed that cultural and linguistic backgrounds are worthy of sharing and keeping. (“Tomás smiled. He liked being the teacher.”) Next, Tomás brought his grandfather to the library where they were greeted in Spanish. (This shows awareness and embracement of multiculturalism.) At the library, Tomás read to his grandfather. Tomás and the Library Lady is a valuable resource for a multicultural classroom that emphasizes the love for literacy.

My Diary from Here to There is a bilingual resource. Bilingual resources are valuable to classrooms with English Language Learners (ELLs) as well as monolingual classrooms. The knowledge of print and linguistic awareness are basic skills for any child to become literate. For the purpose of this paper, I will further reflect about the usefulness of bilingual resources for ELLs. The access to bilingual books allows students to understand that each linguistic concept (or object) has several words that could be connected to it. This is very helpful to ELLs whose success depends on their abilities to make connections between their mother tongue and a second language. This way, they do not need to learn several new concepts, but just new words to attach to concepts they already know. For example, children from another country might have learned the concept of dog, but they might connect the visual image of a dog to its name in their primary language. By having bilingual books in the classroom, the students will see two sets of linguistic information used to describe the same conceptual message. Furthermore, bilingual books send the message that the cultures and primary languages of these students are celebrated in their current classrooms. Their cultures have important messages to teach their peers. This type of recognition increases students’ self-concept. The students’ personal connection with teachers and classmates will improve when they feel valued. The classroom culture and environment will improve student performance.

13. McDermott, G. (2005). Jabutí the tortoise: A trickster tale from the Amazon. Orlando, FL: Voyager Books.

The description is below book number fourteen. It is paired with another book from the same collection.

14. McDermott, G. (1992). Zomo the rabbit: A trickster tale from West Africa. San Diego, CA: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.

Jabuti (Brazilian folktale) and Zomo (West-African folktale) are parts of a wonderful multicultural collection. Using powerful illustration and carefully-selected

words, the author retells folktales from several cultures. This collection is considered a high-quality resource because each story represents a culture using authentic ways, avoiding stereotypic concepts. The illustrations add to the text in powerful ways. The patterns and colors used in the illustrations are based on the cultures’ backgrounds. It is clear to the reader that the author studied and respects the cultures he chose to capture through visual and linguistic arts.

36