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Over the Green HillsRachel Isadora is a very well known artist, writer and illustrator of children’s books. She has many award winning books and usually portraits children of different ethnicities and backgrounds in her stories, so her books are a good sample of diversity in children literature. I randomly chose three books from the author when I went to the library and you can clearly see the differences among them.
My favorite of the three, is Over the Green Hills. In this book Isadora reflects on her experiences while living in Africa. The story is about Zolani, a young boy who’s going to visit her grandmother to bring her a young goat. In the long walk crossing the country, he experiences how life unfolds in rural South Africa. Even when the book reflects the life in that particular country, this story could easily be happening in any rural area of Africa or the world. The illustrations are beautiful and clearly depict the story.
Yo, Jo!On the opposite side is the book Yo, Jo!. This one portrays an urban setting where African American children play in the streets. The language they use to talk to each other is the principal subject of the story, with phrases like “Gotta bounce”, “Chillin”, or”Wassup!”. Is a small sample of life in the big city, its culture and at the same time a celebration of childhood fun and play. There is also the contrast between the way in which the younger generation communicates, represented by the children, and the older generation way of talking, represented by the grandfather of Jomar, the main character of the book. It is also clear that despite the differences in language there is a deep love between the grandparent and the child. 
What a Family!Finally a book that many people consider not to be appropriate for families with adopted children.
What a Family! is an exploration of how the members of a family can be similar and at the same time completely different. The book clearly refers to biological families and the physical traits that members share between each other. It hasn’t been written with adoptive families in mind, which don’t share features among them. However the family portrayed is very diverse, from white blue eyed children, to kids with dark skin and Afro hair or Asian features. Some readers have labeled this book insensitive to adopted kids, but I guess it depends on the openness of the parents to discuss this subject with their children. Adopted children, no matter how young, are well aware of the differences with their adoptive parents and avoiding the subject will probably do more damage than good.
I have the opinion that the more you discuss these things with your children, the better. As a matter of fact, today my son Feromsa brought the subject of our similarities and differences. Looking at his hands and feet, he asked me about mine and if they were the same and that was the starting point of a long productive talk until he got tired of the subject. In no way I avoided his questions, or refused to satisfy his curiosity. It was natural, friendly and open and I let him led the conversation. I don’t avoid “polemic” subjects or books, I don’t want my children to feel that our differences need to be hidden. About this book, I think that it is a good example of a multicultural, multi racial family, no matter if it is through the biological or the adoption path.

alicia
AliciA