Introduction and Editors’ Note
In my office I have a pair of enormous blue glasses with blue lenses. When I teach students about perspective, I put on my oversized glasses that turn my world blue and talk about looking through a different lens to change my view. The books in this issue act like my blue glasses, because they present differing perspectives about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and how they change the way we look at and interact with our world.
In several titles, a change in perspective generates a change in action. Through verse and dynamic images, We Are Water Protectors uses an Indigenous lens to argue that we have a responsibility to keep our water supplies clean in order to sustain human, animal, and plant life. The same sense of responsibility permeates the biography of Temple Grandin who literally got down on all fours to view walkways and chutes from a cow’s perspective. Her life and work in The Girl Who Thought in Pictures share how her unique perspective made feedlot operations and the beef industry more humane. In both books a change in perspective prompts action, whether protesting a pipeline crossing a water table or herding feedlot cattle in a circular pattern that is less frightening. In When Sophie Thinks She Can’t, a change in perspective is encouraged when Sophie’s teacher introduces her to the power of yet, as a growth-mindset that supports her journey towards thinking of herself as a mathematician.
Responsibility is also part of The Water Princess, and the story challenges readers’ perspectives about daily fetching and cleaning water. According to Georgie Badiel, on whose childhood in Burkina Faso the story is based, a water princess is someone who can see the joy and the playfulness in the lengthy daily chore of carrying water for the family. Also anchored in a family dynamic, the Spanish language text, El fuertecito rojo (a translated version of The Little Red Fort) involves a perspective change for three boys. When their sister Ruby decides to build a fort, she tries to enlist the help of her three brothers, who initially refuse. Instead an adult techie, carpenter, and handyperson help her design the fort, collect supplies, and build the structure until her brothers realize they could help and earn the privilege of enjoying the fort.
Perspective is presented in some titles through the simple act of noticing. In My Forest is Green, an award-winning story of a walk in the forest, readers’ perspectives about living organisms change as a young boy explores his nearby forest, records through drawing or rubbing what he sees, and describes the diverse sizes, colors, and textures he discovers. In a book geared for problem-solving, Molly and the Mathematical Mysteries uses flaps and other paper engineering to help readers solve questions involving principles of math such as symmetry, characteristics of geometric shapes, and the Pythagorean theorem. The solutions Molly finds all begin by looking closely and noticing.
Our final title involves a change in perspective at a regional level. Solar City is the story of the world’s largest solar power plant at the edge of the Sahara Desert in Morocco. The narrative tells the story of two girls heading to the power plant on a field trip. As they prepare, readers learn about the ways their Berber community has changed because of nearby technology. Their perspectives about sustainability become more expansive as they learn about solar power.
We invite you to savor these books and consider writing and submitting a review.
Volume 14, Issue 3 – Open theme (Spring 2022) – submission deadline: May 15, 2022. The editors welcome reviews of global or multicultural children’s or young adult books published within the last three years that highlight intercultural understanding and global perspectives.
Volume 14, Issue 4 – Themed issue on Trauma and Healing (Summer 2022) – submission deadline July 1, 2022. The editors welcome reviews of global or multicultural children’s or young adult books published within the last three years that highlight intercultural understanding and global perspectives. Our world is recovering from a pandemic that has led to trauma and a need for healing. This issue will address recovery with an emphasis on the healing journey from social or emotional trauma, a health-related issue, or an emotional issue.
Susan Corapi & María V. Acevedo-Aquino, Co-Editors
© 2021 by Susan Corapi and María V. Acevedo-Aquino
WOW Review, Volume XIV, Issue 2 by Worlds of Words is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Based on work by Susan Corapi and María V. Acevedo-Aquino at https://wowlit.org/on-line-publications/review/xiv-2/2/