Advertisement

Children's Literature in Education

, Volume 47, Issue 3, pp 191–208 | Cite as

On the Margins: The Depiction of Muslims in Young Children’s Picturebooks

  • Heidi J. Torres
Original Paper

Abstract

There are few empirical studies that examine the depiction of Muslims in children’s literature. Given the influence of US media on perspectives of Muslims (Jackson, 2010), and the pervasive use of children’s literature in American schools, it is important to investigate what viewpoints about Islam are being communicated to children through these texts. In this qualitative study, the author uses inductive content analysis to examine the depiction of Muslims in picturebooks written for young children and in English, an area of study in which very little research has been conducted. Themes that emerged within and across texts are discussed and illustrated with examples from the books in the sample. Perspectives about Islam communicated through these themes are described. The author discusses the implications of the findings for Muslims and non-Muslims, making suggestions to enhance the depiction of Muslims and make them more visible in the literature, benefitting all readers in the process.

Keywords

Islam Muslims Religion Young children Picturebooks Multicultural literature 

Supplementary material

10583_2015_9268_MOESM1_ESM.docx (18 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (docx 19 kb)

References

  1. Addasi, Maha. (2008). The White Nights of Ramadan. Honesdale, PA: Boyds Mills Press.Google Scholar
  2. Addasi, Maha. (2010). Time to Pray. Honesdale, PA: Boyds Mills Press.Google Scholar
  3. Alrawi, Karim. (2000). The Girl Who Lost Her Smile. New York: Winslow Press.Google Scholar
  4. Bishop, Rudine Sims. (1990). Mirrors, Windows, and Sliding Glass Doors. Perspectives: Choosing and Using Books for the Classroom, 6(3), ix–xi.Google Scholar
  5. Brown, Tricia. (2006). Salaam: A Muslim-American Boy’s Story. New York: Henry Holt.Google Scholar
  6. Bunting, Eve. (2006). One Green Apple. New York: Clarion Books.Google Scholar
  7. Cameron, Lindsey and Rutland, Adam. (2006). Extended Contact through Story Reading in School: Reducing Children’s Prejudice Toward the Disabled. Journal of Social Issues, 62(3), 469–488.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Chalfonte, Jessica. (1996). I am Muslim. New York: Power Kids Press.Google Scholar
  9. Eck, Diana L. (2001). A New Religious America: How a “Christian Country” Has Become the World’s Most Religiously Diverse Nation. San Francisco: Harper San Francisco.Google Scholar
  10. El-Moslimany, Ann P. (1994). Zaki’s Ramadhan Fast. Seattle, WA: Amica Publishing House.Google Scholar
  11. Ghazi, Abiqullah. (1994). Grandfather’s Orchard. Chicago: IQRA’ International Educational Foundation/Amica Publishing House.Google Scholar
  12. Gilton, Donna L. (2007). Multicultural and Ethnic Children’s Literature in the United States. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press Inc.Google Scholar
  13. Haskins, Jim. (2002). Champion: The Story of Muhammad Ali. New York: Walker Publishing Co Inc.Google Scholar
  14. Heiligman, Deborah. (2006). Celebrate Ramadan & Eid Al-Fitr. Washington, DC: National Geographic Society.Google Scholar
  15. Hoyt-Goldsmith, Diane. (2001). Celebrating Ramadan. New York: Holiday House.Google Scholar
  16. Islamic Voice. (2007). Iman: Young Teenage Muslim Girl Super Hero. Islamic Voice. Retrieved from http://islamicvoice.com/May2007/YoungWorld/.
  17. Jackson, Liz. (2010). Images of Islam in US Media and Their Educational Implications. Educational Studies, 46, 3–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Kessler, Christina. (1995). One Night. New York: Philomel Books.Google Scholar
  19. Khan, Rukhsana. (1999). Muslim Child: Understanding Islam Through Stories and Poems. Morton Grove, IL: Albert Whitman & Company.Google Scholar
  20. Khan, Rukhsana. (2006). Muslims in Children’s Books. School Library Journal, 52(9), 36–37.Google Scholar
  21. Khan, Rukhsana. (2009). It’s How You Say It. Horn Book Magazine, 85(5), 499–505.Google Scholar
  22. Khoreibi, Ramia. (2005). The Adventures of Iman: As One. Author.Google Scholar
  23. Kyuchukov, Hristo. (2004). My Name was Hussein. Honesdale, PA: Boyds Mills Press.Google Scholar
  24. Matthews, Mary. (1996). Magid Fasts for Ramadan. New York: Clarion Books.Google Scholar
  25. Matze, Claire Sidhom. (1999). The Stars in my Geddoh’s Sky. Morton Grove, IL: Albert Whitman & Co.Google Scholar
  26. Maughan, Shannon. (2003). Gauging the Gap: Books are Still Few for Muslim Kids. Publisher’s Weekly, 250(36), 35–37.Google Scholar
  27. McQuinn, Anna. (2008). My Friend Jamal. Toronto: Annick Press.Google Scholar
  28. Mobin-Uddin, Asma. (2005). My Name is Bilal. Honesdale, PA: Boyds Mills Press.Google Scholar
  29. Mobin-Uddin, Asma. (2007). The Best Eid Ever. Honesdale, PA: Boyds Mills Press.Google Scholar
  30. Mobin-Uddin, Asma. (2008). Educating About the Muslim American Experience: Breaking Stereotypes with Children’s Literature. Adolescent Literacy in Perspective. Retrieved from http://www.ohiorc.org/adlit/inperspective/issue/2008-05/Article/vignette2.aspx.
  31. Mobin-Uddin, Asma. (2009). A Party in Ramadan. Honesdale, PA: Boyds Mills Press.Google Scholar
  32. Möller, Karla J. (2014). Mirrors and Windows Through Literature Featuring Arabs, Arab Americans and People of Islamic Faith. Journal of Children’s Literature, 40(2), 65–72.Google Scholar
  33. Munsch, Robert and Askar, Saoussan. (1995). From Far Away. Toronto: Annick Press.Google Scholar
  34. Munsch, Robert. (2013). Welcome to the Official Robert Munsch Site: From Far Away. Accessed March 14, 2014 from http://robertmunsch.com/book/from-far-away.
  35. Narayan, Uma. (1988). Working together Across Difference: Some Considerations on Emotions and Political Practice. Hypatia, 3(2), 31–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Nye, Naomi Shihab. (1994). Sitti’s Secrets. New York: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.Google Scholar
  37. Pew Forum. (2012, May 6). Press TV: The fastest growing religion in America is Islam. Accessed July 14, 2013 from http://www.pewforum.org/Press-Room/Pew-Forum-in-the-News/The-fastest-growing-religion-in-America-is-Islam.aspx.
  38. Pirotta, Saviour. (2008). Id-ul-Fitr. New York: Power Kids Press.Google Scholar
  39. Raina, Seemin A. (2009). Critical Content Analysis of Postcolonial Texts: Representations of Muslims Within Children’s and Adolescent Literature. (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from Arizona open repository.Google Scholar
  40. Rice, Peggy S. (2005). It “Ain’t” Always So: Sixth-graders’ Interpretations of Hispanic-American Stories with Universal Themes. Children’s Literature in Education, 36(4), 343–362.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Robert, Na’ima B. (2009). Ramadan Moon. London: Frances Lincoln Children’s Books.Google Scholar
  42. Rosen, Kim. (2012). The Incomparable Naomi Shihab Nye on Kindness. Spirituality and Health. Retrieved from http://spiritualityhealth.com/articles/incomparable-naomi-shihab-nye-kindness.
  43. Rosenblatt, Louise M. (1982). The Literary Transaction: Evocation and Response. Theory into Practice, 21, 268–277.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Ross, Mandy. (2003). Mecca and Other Islamic Holy Places. Chicago: Raintree.Google Scholar
  45. Rumford, James. (2008). Silent Music: A Story of Baghdad. New York: Roaring Brook Press.Google Scholar
  46. Senker, Cath. (2008). My Muslim Year. New York: Power Kids Press.Google Scholar
  47. Short, Kathy G., and Fox, Dana L. (2004). The Complexity of Cultural Authenticity: A Critical Review. In National Reading Conference Yearbook, 53 (pp. 373–384).Google Scholar
  48. Simmons, Gwendolyn Zoharah. (2008). From Muslims in America to American Muslims. Journal of Islamic Law and Culture, 10(3), 254–280.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Sirin, Selcuk R. and Fine, Michelle. (2007). Hyphenated selves: Muslim-American Youth Negotiating Identities on Fault Lines of Global Conflict. Applied Development Science, 11(3), 151–163.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Thomas, David R. (2003). A General Inductive Approach for Qualitative Data Analysis. School of Population Health. Auckland: University of Auckland.Google Scholar
  51. Trepanier-Street, Mary L. and Romatowski, Jane A. (1999). The Influence of Children’s Literature on Gender Role Perceptions: A Reexamination. Early Childhood Education Journal, 26(3), 155–159.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Walker, Robert. (2010). Eid al-Adha. New York: Crabtree Publishing Company.Google Scholar
  53. White, Marilyn Domas and Marsh, Emily E. (2006). Content Analysis: A Flexible Methodology. Library Trends, 55(1), 22–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Whitman, Sylvia. (2008). Under the Ramadan Moon. Morton Grove, IL: Albert Whitman & Company.Google Scholar
  55. Winter, Jeanette. (2005). The Librarian of Basra: A True Story from Iraq. San Diego, CA: Harcourt Inc.Google Scholar
  56. Winter, Jeanette. (2009). Nasreen’s Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan. New York: Beach Lane Books.Google Scholar
  57. Wolf, Bernard. (2003). Coming to America: A Muslim Family’s Story. New York: Lee & Low Books Inc.Google Scholar
  58. Zaal, Mayida. (2012). Islamophobia in Classrooms, Media, and Politics. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 55(6), 555–558.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Indiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA

Personalised recommendations