The reviewers for Kolibri base their evaluations on their own experiences and their own cultural perspective. To appraise publications on the basis of the above-mentioned criteria, they may consult a list of questions. These can assist them to resolve uncertainties and to reflect on their own point of view.
- Which are the main characters?
- Characters of minority group: which role do they play?
- What do people have to do in order to get recognition?
- How are characters from other social group portrayed (e.g. stereotypes such as «the good», «the bad»)?
- How is the relationship between ethnics shown (or between native people and migrants)?
- Is there a hierarchy between social classes or men and women (boys and girls)?
Different forms of life
- Which forms of life and which social values can be found in the book?
- How is cultural identity expressed?
- How does the book help to learn about values other than my own?
- Are members of (different) social groups recognized in their identity?
- How are problems solved? Are certain characters just needy and helpless?
- How are conflicts solved? Do you find fairness in the book?
All the questions above are important for illustrations as well.
- Do the pictures connect with the cultural identity described in the text?
- Is there a connection between the story and the images?
- What is the relation between members of different social groups, ethnics, class etc.? (Size, position on the page, colours)
Language and Style
- How is language used (phrase, structure of the text)? Which vocabulary is used?
- Does it match the characters and the cultural identity described?
- Moral message: is it accessible and relevant for children?
Cultural diversity in children's books –
Edited by Baobab Books
26th edition, Basel, 2019
92 pages, paperback