There has not been enough critical analysis of children’s literature by and about Chinese Americans, especially when compared to other minority groups in the United States. In particular, Chinese American historical books lack extensive analysis. It is important to reflect cultural accuracy in literature and to help children develop clear concepts of self and others by providing precise cultural and physical characteristics of people. While cultural authenticity allows children the opportunity to see a reflection of real experiences within a book instead of seeing stereotypes or misrepresentations, obtaining correct information about a certain time period can help children to see images of immigration accurately represented in literature. Using the Confucian delineation of interpersonal relationships as the major criterion of cultural authenticity, this article examines three currently available children’s picturebooks set in the historical period between 1848 and 1885. In addition to exploring how Chinese Americans’ interpersonal relationships are portrayed in these children’s historical books, this article argues for more proactive inclusion of the diversity in selection of picturebooks.
Children's Literature in Education 49(2), p.216–231