Q: Could you tell me a little bit about the racial make-up of the
A: Uhm, I don't know how to answer that. I don't know how some people
would define themselves so I guess I don't want to answer that.
Q: Are there any African-Americans
on the Co
children who live in poverty; all of these children live in Texas and they should see
their stories in books that are awarded the Texas Bluebonnet Award.
To deny these children's circumstances by refusing to include books about their
stories in the Master
of who is a member? And is it any surprise that a committee made up of ten
White (maybe possibly eight White, two Hispanic) women over forty would
produce a book list with such a prominent lack of diversity in any areas other
This Committee i
The most disturbing aspect of the participants' discussion of
representation is their definition, or lack there of, of the term representation. With
the exception of Mia, all the participants needed clarification on what was meant
by diversity of represen
books. Most children are exposed to TBA books through school libraries.
school librarians shows the TBA interest grabber video that introduces each of
the books and then reads several of the shorter books aloud to children during
their weekly visit to
Jacque was a member of the review subcommittee and was responsible
for creating the review packet. Creating the review packet involved:
Get[ting] some reviews for each book and duplicity[ing] those
reviews and giv[ing] them to each member so each book is
is judging the books on what they know; their own experiences of
their own childhood.
Given the participants' thoughts on the conversations taking place during
the selection process, and their ideas on diversity of representation, the
The former TBA coordinator, in fact, did not give me access to the nominated list
or suggestion lists. I did manage to get the 2000 - 2001 and 2001 - 2002
nominated lists from one of the participants who had them in her file. Interestingly
enough, the TLA
participants maintain the standards of the Texas Bluebonnet Award while providing a
quality list of books that truly represent all the children in the state? From the data, I
would suggest that perhaps they did not.
Being on the Selection Committee has me
breadth to the world for the reader? Is it more than just the same story with
different characters or the same information told in a different format?
It might be more efficacious if the question asked was if the book would
bring a never before seen persp
then" ever before. None of the participants appeared to have learned to evaluate
books for representation. There was no evidence that this type of change was a
result of closer evaluation of the books. The Master Lists have not become
noticeably more dive
ranked diversity third behind content and illustrations while Amy and Jacque
ranked it fourth, placing diversity as less important than content, genre, and
Three of the four participants placed diversity of representation behind
Jacque all rated illustrations as more important than diversity in determining
which books deserve a place on the Master List.
Illustrations should complement the content of a book. They certainly need
to be evaluated when looking at books for considerati
The fact that diversity was seldom mentioned in the conversations between
the people responsible for selecting the books for the TBA Master List was
problematic. The four participants were aware of the topic of my dissertation, and
better then the average book, not just a good book; but also a great book. I
look at the books that I think the children who come to the library would
really like. I pay attention to things like the content of the book and the
Jacque explained that much of the preliminary discussion the books nominated
for the TBA Master Lists took place through email communication, saying:
In the early Fall, everyone will send in their top twenty and that will reduce
the list from about 300 do
and I think I'm a pretty good judge of that.
have I think I can look at things and say a
I mean, everyone knows you can't judge
make a difference in format and you know
Working here for as long as I
child will pick this up.
a book by its cover but it does
mean that is not a bad thing to say, I mean because those people are
chosen to represent their areas and represent their interest and represent
the children they've known.
issues of representation
in the TBA nominated books,
Jacque tried to understand the idea of representation in books. She really
did. But she just did not get it. She continued to use phrases like "those people"
and to qualify answers and to give answers that she thought I wanted to hear
through the entirety
Effects of Being a Selection Committee Member
It requires an incredible commitment to be on the TBA Selection Committee. Each
of these Committee members put in thousands of hours of work reading and rereading
the 300 to 400 books on the nominated list bef
influencing their answer. Table 5.1 shows the ranking of the criteria by the
Table 5.1 Ranking of Criteria
Although all of these aspects of literature are important in some man
understanding of the information presented by the individual cases of the TBA
Selection Committee members.
The data collected from the interviews with the participants give insight
into how they view the criteria for award-winning children's literature, t
She continued, explaining what she received from on the TBA Selection
I think I've felt kinda isolated through the years not having anyone else in my
job classification and I think probably not always getting enough support or
feedback that I w
because, even thought she ranked diversity of representation as the second
most important criteria in selecting a piece of literature as an award-winner, Kate
did not mention representation again for the entire duration of the study, even
when prompted du
book on the Master Lists. Both Amy and Jacque ranked genre as the second most
important criteria, behind content, for placing a book on the Master List. Only Mia
ranked genre as the least important factor in placing a book on the Master List.
It seems to
For one, the benefit of serving on the Committee was validation of her self
worth. Jacque said serving on the Selection Committee had "given me a boost
and it's given me, you know, somebody thinks I'm intelligent and somebody
thinks that I'm worthwhile"
stories that are placed on the Master List, not the stories of the diverse
population of Texas.
This conclusion directly challenges the philosophy expressed about diversity by
the participants. In fact, Texas has twenty-two years of Master Lists that pres
books. But when looking at these books in terms of representation, they are
distinctly lacking. These books represent realities that are young, White, middle
class, Protestant, straight, and healthy. But, They do not represent the majority of
History of Children's Literature
READINGS: PCL: Second Reading List
*Madeline's Rescue - 1953 - Bemelmans, Ludwig
Style: Mostly yellow colors (Caldecott, 54) CALDECOTT 54, not 53
Plot: Madeline falls into a river and a dog saves her. Madeline and the othe
Chapter 4: Picture Books and Illustrations
Definition and Description
picture books= books in which words and illustrations are essential to the storys
illustrations on every page
EX of a good illustrated book: Where the Wild Things Are