Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Emerging scholars

I would choose the book Black and White as the best book for your emerging scholars because it deals with issues that they have probably dealt with. In my opinion, this is the most relateable book for kids around this area because most of the other books deal with a new culture or lifestyle. This book, on the other hand, is one that could have been written about any one of us or our friends, making it the best and most relateable book for the incoming class of emerging scholars. Also, this book was the most enjoyable book, which would probably mean it would be th easiest and most enjoyable to read for them.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


I actually don't think Mulan was over-Westernized in the Disney take on her story. Although some aspects of Chinese culture were taken out of the cartoon, they had to do so to make it likeable for the American audiences. Since the audiences they were aiming for with this film are young children who are not educated on cultures from around the world, Westernizing Mulan and the story were the best ways to make it relatable to the audiences. However, in no way do i think Mulan was over-westernized because there are still very Chinese aspects within the movie. For example, her father still grows upset when she embarasses him in front of a Chinese government official by requesting to let him stay home from war. Self-pride is an important tradition for Chinese men. Also, in the beginning when Mulan is being made into a geisha it certainly captures most traditional requirements for one. Finally, chinese training in the army is very accurate. Mulan has been westernized to make it more relatable and understandable for the young audiences Disney is aiming for, but it is definitely not Over-westernized by any means.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Black and White

I believe that Black and White definitely pays tribute to real-life experiences. Loyalty to your friends, whether or not to tell on your friends or not if they do something wrong, racism are all problems that are still faced by people, including adolescents today. In my opinion, this is a real-life experience that anyone could face. Whether or not to tell on your best friend or let him walk away free while you take the punishment is a legitimate problem that most teens face at some point in their lifetime. Although it may not be in such a serious situation, it is definitely realistic. Also, racism is absolutely still prevalent. In Black and White, it is the main reason that most of the kids believe Marcus is being charged. Racism is still all around us and children deal with it all the time depending on what area they go to school in. I think the problems faced by the characters in thie book are accurately portrayed, no matter that they are exaggerated a small amount due to the boys' situation. Tey are legitimate problems and this book pays tribute to them by sharing how the characters deal with them

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Thompson article - Fiction

This article was very confusing but in a nutshell it basically looked at differences between fiction made primarilly for children and fiction made for adults. It looked at the volume of certain words and phrases within either type of fiction and compared the two findings. In adult fiction, there were often words which were used more often due to he fact that children have a smaller vocab and often cannot understand some words or the literal meanings behind some words or phrases. Adults, on the other hand, are able to depict different meanings for words and can understand certain words or phrases better than children. This study just looked at the number of words and phrases within childrens and adult fiction and the reasons for these differences, which was ability to understand and differentiate literal versus figurative meanings and various definitions of the same words

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Fairy Tales

When I was younger, fairy tales were mostly told to my sister, since she was usually the one who liked magic, fairies, princes and princesses and happily ever after endings. However, I do remember the impact that Robin Hood and Peter Pan had on me.
For my 4th birthday, my parents got me a custom made Robin Hood book in which i was included as a character in the book, along with my sister and two neighbors. I made my mom read that book to me almost every night because I loved being Robin Hood's sidekick as he stole from the rich and gave to the poor. Robin Hood became my hero and I pretended to be him all the time, running around my house with a stick which was supposed to be my bow and arrow. I would pretend to steal candy and give it to other children who did not have any candy. I think that the story was very important in teaching me how to share and to help those less fortunate than me.
Peter Pan was also a favorite of mine since he could fly. I loved the cartoon movie by Disney as well as the later-released Hook starring Robin Williams. I just oved how he refused to grow up and could fly just based on happy thoughts. I think that the notion of never growing up and having to deal with the problems and responsibilities of being an adult was one of the main reasons why Peter Pan stuck with me and was such a favorite of mine.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Celebrities Writing Children's Books

I really enjoyed this article. I also have no problem with Celebrities releasing children's books. Jerry Seinfeld, Jay Leno, Bill Cosby, Will Smith, and even Madonna have done it. Who knows, maybe some of these celebrities' true calling was writing children's literature. However, there are definitely some who do not have the gift.
In my opinion, being a celebrity shouldn't mean they should not be allowed to write successful childrens books. However, like Park mentions in her aticle, I think that since their status makes their books more popular are more read by children, their books should all carry strong messages and be written well. Otherwise, hildren will be exposed to badly written literature in lieu of well-written literature, but take no notice of the difference and grow up lacking this knowledge of the difference.
None of the books we have read have been written by celebrity authors but I know that not judging a book based on who wrote it is an important idea to think about when choosing a book for a child to read. Unless, however, it is written by an author who has become a celebrity for his/her writing excellence.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Beach Article

In the article that dealt with how adolescents respond to multicultural literature with alternative values, I found it similar to my experience with Esperanza Rising. I am generally very unfamiliar with Mexican values and customs since not only am I a white male, but I was born in England and have been nrought up with British values and customs. However, similar to what the article explained, after reading novels such as Esperanze Rising and Copper Sun, I was able to better understand the different customs and values in the different culture, both African and Mexican. Reading about the different traditions in the novels allows the reader, in this case, me, to get a glimpse of how important these values and customs are to the characters in the book who practice them. Reading about the different values and customs allows the reader to put themselves into the shoes of the characters and view the customs throught the words int he ook which are describing them. All in all after reading Esperanza Rising and Copper Sun, I got a better understanding of the traditions practiced in both cultures and I was more accepting of them because they were no longer so "new" to me. Also, I could understand them to a better extent and see how important they are to the particular people who did them.