What Does it Mean to Be Puerto Rican in Children's Literature?

  • Maria Acevedo


Under the large umbrella of Latinx children’s literature, the books and studies that specifically portray Puerto Rican characters, settings, and stories are limited, creating a gap in understanding the representations of Puerto Ricans in children’s literature. This study explores the voices of Puerto Ricans through a critical content analysis of twenty contemporary realistic picture books published from 2000-2016. The collection shows 1) a magical but limiting representation of the island; 2) a consistent absence of the African or Afro-Puerto Rican identity; 3) a complex use of Spanish in English texts and, 4) a resistance against a colonial discourse and myths that have historically described the broad Latinx population as indifferent with regards to their children’s educación.

Research and Criticism / Investigaciones y Crítica