Chinese Children’s School Experiences Represented in Picture Books

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In a graduate level children’s literature class, Eun Hye, the second author, was facilitating the discussion of the importance of multicultural children’s literature from an assigned reading of Rudine Sims Bishop's “Mirrors, Windows, and Sliding Glass Doors” (1990). As Lin, the first author, was engaged in the discussion by sharing different childhood experiences, one student, who was adopted from China by Americans as a toddler, said that she found herself rarely represented in picture books while growing up in the U.S. We both felt bad because we grew up in China and Korea respectively, surrounded by many children’s books representing children like ourselves. However, when we each came to the United States in our 20s to attend higher education, we quickly learned that there is a limited number of books portraying Chinese and Korean children living in the United States. At different time periods, we both developed intellectual interests toward critically examining how these two groups of children (Chinese and Korean) have been portrayed in multicultural children’s books.