Diversity and children in Ireland

The Bernard van Leer Foundation has released a working paper (another in its series on child development). Developing Programmes to Promote Ethnic Diversity in Early Childhood reviews case studies from Northern Ireland for promising practices in promoting ethnic diversity in early childhood. 

The paper examines the effects of ethnic divisions on young children and explores some of the responses of the early childhood sector and concludes with challenges and suggestions on the Joint Learning Initiative on Children and Ethnic Diversity, co-founded by Paul Connolly, one of the authors of this working paper.

Dual language books

Some dual language picture books (and publishers) recently recommended on the child_lit listserv:


Sun Stone Days/Tonaltin/Dias de Piedra. 2007. Ianna Andraadis. Ill by Felipe Divalos. Groundwood Press.

Angels Ride Bikes and Other Fall Poems/Los Angeles andan en bicicleta y otros poemas de otoao. Francisco X. Alarcan, Ill by Maya Christina Gonzalez. Children’s Book Press. 1999.

My Diary from Here to There/Mi diario de aqua hasta alla. 2002. Amada Irma Pirez. Ill by Maya Christina Gonzalez. Children’s Book Press.

Arrorra, mi Niao: Latino Lullabies and Gentle Games. 2004.

The Bossy Gallito/El gallo de bodas: A Traditional Cuban Folktale. 1994.

A Gift from Papa Diego/Un regalo de Papa Diego. 1998. Benjamin Alire Saenz. Ill by Geranimo Garcia. Cinco Puntos Press.

Mama Goose: A Latino Nursery Treasury/Mama Goose: Un tesoro de rimas infantiles. 2004. Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy. Ill by Maribel Suarez.

Hyperion Books for Children. Lucia M. Gonzalez. Ill by Lulu Delacre. Scholastic.

Calling the Doves/El canto de las palomas by Juan Felipe Herrera. 1995. Children’s Book Press.

Counting Ovejas. 2006. Sarah Weeks. Ill by David Diaz. Atheneum Books for Young Readers.

The Empanadas that Abuela Made/Las empanadas que hacia la abuela. 2003. Diane Gonzales Bertrand, Ill by Alex Pardo DeLange. Pinata Books.

Icy Watermelon/Sandia fria. 2001. Mary Sue Galindo, Ill by Pauline Rodriguez Howard. Pinata Books.Deditos/Ten Little

Fingers and Other Play Rhymes and Action Songs from Latin America. 1997. Jose-Luiz Orozco, Ill by Elisa Kleven. Dutton Children’s Books.

Magic Windows/Ventanas magicas. 1999. Carmen Lomas Garza. Children’s Book Press.

Paco and the Giant Chile Plant/Paco y la Planta de Chile Gigante, Ill by Elizabeth O. Dulemba. Raven Tree Press.

My Colors, My World/Mis colores, mi mundo. 2007. Maya Christina Gonzalez. Children’s Book Press.


Children’s Book Press

Cinco Puntos Press

Del Sol Books

Tortuga Press

Review Article

The Winter 2007 issue of MultiCultural Review includes a piece on the publication and selection of bilingual (English/Spanish) picture books. See “Descubriendo el sabor: Spanish Bilingual Book Publishing and Cultural Authenticity” by Jamie C. Naidoo and Julia Lopez-Robertson.

Any other recommendations?

EU adopts motion on the education of children of migrants

The European Union‘s Committee on Culture and Education has adopted a motion on educating the children of migrants.

In a report written by Hannu Takkula, entitled Migration and Mobility: Challenges and Opportunities for European Education Systems, the motion address several key issues in migrant education and calls for “integration to be encouraged through sports and other extra-curricular activities, as this can also help to combat social exclusion of those from less privileged backgrounds.  The earlier and more successfully that migrant children are integrated into schools, the better they will perform through school, further education and eventually in the labour market”. (Source: European Parliament press release).

An excerpt from the press release:

Migration can be greatly beneficial to schools as it can enrich them both culturally and educationally, but at the same time it can present significant problems if cultural differences hamper understanding between pupils or between pupils and teachers.  The report, drafted by Hannu Takkula wants to encourage a more effective means of incorporating migrant children in national education systems, as he believes that workers within the Union will be less likely to move abroad ‘if there is a risk that their children will suffer educationally’.

Children of a new world, by Paula S. Fass

Excerpts from: Nihal Ahioglu. Review of Fass, Paula S. Children of a new world: Society, culture and globalization. H-Childhood, N-Net Reviews. April 2009. (Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial Works).

Children of a New World is an impressive book consisting of essays that the author has previously published on children in nineteenth- and twentieth-century America. Two underlying themes connect these essays. The first suggest that childhood has become a significant working area in social history. Though these essays are profoundly informed by social history and carry a deep concern about large-scale shifts in the experience of children, Paula S. Fass also provides sharp pieces of cultural analysis. She relates her evidence to political history, and to other disciplines, such as literature, education and psychology. 

From the interpretation of children and childhood using a broadly conceived historical approach, Fass reveals her second main theme: the influence of a “new world” or “globalization” on children and the meanings of childhood.

In the first part of the book, Fass emphasizes historical change regarding children and the meanings of childhood in terms of schooling and migration in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century America. Schooling was critical in a pluralistic society accommodating a great number of immigrants. Integrating different cultures into the same values and thus the idea of establishing “a mutual national identity” become one of the most important aims in these years. In spite of the existence of such a political objective, to protect and maintain their own cultures, immigrants preferred alternative or religious schools for their children. Nevertheless, changing economical conditions and the rise of specialized clerks increased the significance of public schooling. In this context, intelligence tests were invented to predict what an individual could accomplish with education or training. Testing served as a tool for solving social and cultural problems by sorting children and (purportedly) allowing the educational and child welfare systems to meet the psychological needs of individuals. According to Fass, it caused a kind of segregation in education to the disadvantage of immigrant youths because the tests were culturally biased. Complementing the intelligence testing movement in the interwar period, American educators attempted to develop a comprehensive and uniform curriculum. The new curriculum included “extracurricular activities”, through which students found opportunities to prove their self-direction in social, citizenship, athletic and academic subjects. This was aimed to improve the citizenship and advance assimilation of diverse cultural groups. But the results were not always so straightforward….

The last two centuries have been a period in which significant changes have occurred in childhood. Children of a New World presents this change strikingly to readers by using different social, cultural, and economic incidents, events, and experiences. In addition to presenting different examples about the social history of children and the cultural history of childhood in a systematic and analytical way, this book encourages us to ask new questions about how these distinctive stories fit into a larger modern transformation of childhood.

The neglect of citizen children in US immigration policy

A new study by Dorsey and Whitney, LLP for the Urban Institute raises several issues with regard to the impact of immigration policy on immigrant- and citizen-children of immigrants in the US.

Severing a Lifeline: The Neglect of Citizen Children in America’s Immigration Enforcement Policy begins with the startling statistic that of the 5 million “illegal immigrants” in the United States, 3 million are actually children citizens, born in the USA.

From the executive summary:

“US citizen children are the victims of immigration laws that are out of step with the manner in which we address child welfare issues in other areas of the law. The “best interests” of the child find little or no hearing in the process of detaining and deporting undocumented parents. The hard suffered by the citizen child who loses a parent to deportation, or the citizen child who loses his or her prospective future in the United States in the interests of maintaining family unity, is thus the natural consequence of systemic shortcomings in US immigration law and policy.

“The primary goal of this report is to reveal, and to prompt meaningful and reasoned debate regarding, the deficiencies in this country’s immigration laws and enforcement scheme relative to the interests of our citizen children”.

The study includes a series of comprehensive recommendations for reform.