In My Family/En Mi Familia By Carmen Lomas Garza

1138 Words5 Pages
INTRODUCTION Multicultural literature is a tool that should be utilized within the classroom in order to help students see themselves and their own family structures reflected within the writings. When readers express their interactions with literature though authentic dialogue and written reflections, beliefs and ideas about their own identities are often brought out (Rosenblatt, 1978). Culturally responsive children’s literature can be an effective vehicle for getting students to connect with rich text, practice and develop their oral language skills, and help impart the joy of reading books and learning. Additionally, applying multicultural literature as an instructional tool can help teachers design a curriculum that is meaningful, effective,…show more content…
This autobiographical memoir received both the Pura Belpré Honor Award for Illustration in 1996 and the Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children’s Book Award in 1997. Carmen Lomas Garza shares her personal memories of growing up in her hometown of Kingsville, Texas and her illustrations portray scenes of colorful, dynamic, and symbolic images specific to life in a Mexican-American family. The narrative is told as first person reflections, with the main character represented as the author’s childhood self, spanning the ages five to twelve years old. The text and pictures complement each other with reoccurring themes embracing family, religious rituals, and rural life. Furthermore, Lomas Garza’s illustrations portray children and adults playing and working together as they prepare special meals, explore the natural world, explain healing traditions, and celebrate life’s milestone…show more content…
Rasinski and Padak (1998) present moving arguments for creating passion and heart in culturally responsive education through the use of multicultural literature. Their literacy perspective embraces multicultural literature as a medium that naturally fosters critical reflection. Lomas Garza’s autobiographical picture book succeeds in fostering cultural pride and hitting a chord with her intended audience of young readers as they find themselves relating to the characters’ circumstances and reflecting on their own lives. Similarly, Flores-Duenas (2004) and Galda & Beach (2004) provide additional support for the use of multicultural literature in the classroom through “reader response theory”. This link between cultural schemata and reading comprehension explores learning through social contexts and personal experiences. These literary scholars investigate how culturally responsive literature challenges the imagination and can function as a model to broaden and clarify a student’s personal identity. Lomas Garza’s storybook embraces universal subjects familiar to all students. Through her vivid imagery and the cultural themes of family, kinship, and community she allows her Latino/a readers to find themselves at the center of an engaging and authentic

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