Thursday, 25 August 2016

Looking through windows (Day 3)

We had some rain overnight, so it was a bit cooler this morning, and I had a pleasant bike ride into work. Yes, a bike ride!! My lovely colleague Marianne Martens has lent me a bike, and I am enjoying it very much, although staying to the footpaths as I don't trust myself to stay to the right.

I looked though about 50 more of the Spanish English dual language books from my subcollection from the Marantz collection yesterday, and am very much reminded of the metaphor used by Professor Rudine Sims Bishop that multicultural children's literature can be mirrors, windows and glass sliding doors. Certainly for me, yesterday, I felt like I was looking through many windows into worlds I am less familiar with. There are many stories relating to children's experiences of migration from Mexico and El Salvador to the United States. One that I found particularly  interesting is called 'My Diary from here to there' by Amada Irma Perez, following a girl's experience of her family's migration to the States, based on the experiences of the author herself.

There are also some lovely poetry collections by Francisco X. Alarcon (illustrated by Maya Christina Gonzalez, Children's Book Press, 1998). One includes a poem called 'From the Bellybutton of the Moon':

Whenever I say "Mexico"
I hear my grandmother telling me
about the Aztecs and the city they built
on an island in the middle of a lake

"Mexico" says my grandma
"means: from the bellybutton of the moon"
"don't forget your origin my son"
maybe that's why
whenever I now say "Mexico"
I feel like touching my bellybutton.

I am learning a lot by looking through the windows provided by these bilingual books.


  1. How lovely! Have you heard the author speak?

  2. Books as mirrors, windows and sliding glass doors - lovely descriptive phrases/ metaphors

    Sounds awesome Nicola. Whilst you are there I am in Rarotonga thinking about multiple perspectives on children's learning about diversity with a crystal metaphor from St Pierre, what I am seeing - using a torchlight analogy, and using different theoretical and philosophical lenses being like a kaleidoscope. So you can see I am working - a little each day, compared to your 'a lot'!

  3. Thanks for the link, Dianne. I enjoyed listening to Francisco speak about his poems.

    Love the sound of your crystal analogy, JK. Hope you are getting time for a good holiday too- much deserved.