The libraries are loaded with children’s books that address Latino culture. Some of these books provide multifaceted, culturally honest insight into the histories and experiences of Latino people. Many do not. It’s fair to say that we can easily fill a room with “multicultural” books that are superficial or even plainly dishonest.
Luckily, De Colores: “The Raza Experience in Books for Children” has recently hit the blogosphere, reviewing and critiquing “children’s and young adult books about Raza peoples throughout the Diaspora.” The blog’s contributors–a dream team of award-winning authors, educators, community activists, and artists–have already reviewed dozens of books, creating an essential resource for parents, teachers, and librarians who are interested in moving beyond token treatment of heroes and holidays.
De Colores features collections on El Día de los Muertos, Sonia Sotomayor, La Llorona, Latina Cinderella, and César Chávez–as well as the best description of Cinco de Mayo that I’ve ever read. Some of the books that we’ve created educator’s guides for have also been reviewed at De Colores, including Under the Mesquite, Journey of Dreams, and Queen of Water.
All reviewed books are listed in alphabetical order beneath the special collections, which are located at the top right side of the page. There are tabs along the top of the page that provide information about the blog itself. I recommend spending a few minutes clicking through the different tabs to get a sense of the types of reviews that De Colores writes.
“So what is la Raza,” you ask?
In De Colores’ words:
For many people, the word “Raza” goes back to an ancestral place; it’s old, grounded in the people whose blood runs deep in this hemisphere. Embodied in La Raza is the story of how the world was once black and white, and how it was transformed into a rainbow of colors. Embodied in La Raza is the blood of Inca, Maya, Mexica, Tolteca, Zapoteca, and hundreds of other Indigenous peoples—some mixed with the blood of the conquerors, some mixed with the blood of the enslaved, and some mixed with both.
It’s great to see new resources that are inspired by and inspire this identity. It’s even better when the resource is as well thought out and carefully executed as the De Colores blog. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.