Calling them Asian-American books isn’t sufficient…

In October, the Worlds of Words project at the University of Arizona ran a series of blogs on the theme New Trends in Transnational Asian Children’s Books – five very interesting posts by Yoo Kyung Sung and Junko Sakoi

  1. New Trends in Transnational Asian Children’s Books (3 Oct 2016)
  2. New Trends in Transnational Korean Children’s Books (10 Oct 2016)
  3. New Trends in Transnational Japanese Children’s Books (17 Oct 2016)
  4. New Transnational Authors of Children’s Books (24 Oct 2016)
  5. Transnational Authors’ Cultural Backgrounds and Further Reading  (31 Oct 2016)

Yoo Kyung Sung (University of New Mexico) and Junko Sakoi (Tucson Unified School District) describe how things have changed since the classics of the 1990s and 2000s were published:

“We observed new themes and perspectives that differ from previous Asian-American books in the ’90s and 2000s. We wondered how such new insights and experiences came to be available for young readers. One big change we’ve observed is the growth of new career authors and illustrators who have different stories to tell compared to previous decades’ stories … Many new transnational authors and illustrators work for two publishers, one in their home country and one in the U.S. Also, these authors write culturally specific and socially inclusive stories, going beyond Asian-Americans’ previous focus on ‘new’ immigrants and long- and short-term consequences of immigration …”

“Calling them Asian-American books isn’t sufficient…”.

newauthors_covers-768x570

Image from the 4th blog in the series: “New Transnational Authors of Children’s Books”

Worlds of Words (WOW) has a great website – real, respectful and intelligent. On their About page, they write:

Worlds of Words recognizes our lives have gone global. Communities in all parts of the world, from rural towns to large urban cities, are increasingly diverse due to global mobility. Rapid economic, social and technological changes connect people around the globe. No matter where we live, our daily lives interconnect through globalization in its differing forms. Knowledge of the world and an understanding of global perspectives have thus become a necessity, not a luxury. Children no longer have a decision about whether or not they will lead global lives–but they do need to decide how they will live in a global society…

They have lots of useful lists too … check out the WOW Chinese Language and Culture Kit Book List (by student Ke Huang)!

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