Global Literacy

I was able to relate to Dear Primo on multiple levels. I appreciated the multicultural views and showing the differences in their lives. In the end the cousins realize how they have very similar lives; they just go about doing everyday tasks differently. For example they both play, but one plays out on the curb and the other with a spinning top. The lesson from the book was to recognize the similarties and how one day they will visit each other to expereince each others lives and learn from each other. It reminded me of a book called The Sandwich Swap written by Her Majesty Queen Rania from Jordan.

The Sandwich Shop is another cultural children’s book between an American girl who eats a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch and an Arab girl who eats hummus and pita for lunch. Both of the girls have a preconceived view of the other and think that the other girl’s sandwich is gross. Students begin taking sides and judge each other based off of what they see on the outside. Eventually they try each other’s sandwich and come to love it and realize that it is great! They not only respect each other more, but invite others to bring food from where they are from to join in the celebration. A moral of the story is to not judge each by outward appearance or from what others say, but to try something new, see it from their perspective, and realize that we are more similar than different. They both had a sandwich everyday that a loved one had prepared for them. It is truly a beautiful story.

Literacy about global topics can relate to children from a diverse background, broaden children’s worldviews, and can open up their worlds to inspire them to do something greater. I love how teachers are using books to teach culture and language. As our world and globalization are becoming ever more present, I think it is important for children to learn about where they are from and to teach about where others are from. In other words they know more about where they came from in order to learn about where they can go. Books like Dear Primo, The Sanwich Shop, and many more can be used effectively within the classroom to teach about different cultures to broaden their worldview.

References:

Tonatiuh, D. (2010). Dear primo: A letter to my cousin. New York: Abrams Books for Young Readers.

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