Yvonne Wakim Dennis

American Indian Stereotypes in the World of Children: A Reader and Bibliography

The second edition of American Indian Stereotypes in the World of Children "has been put together to try and shock adults into realizing that the world of contemporary American infants and young children is saturated with inappropriate images of Indians." This packed edition incorporates new writings and recent developments, such as a chronology documenting changes associated with the mascot issue. The book includes an essay by Dr. Cornell Pewewardy on Disney's recent Pocahontas film along with information on state legislation. Other new material incorporates powerful commentary by Native American veterans, who speak to the issue of stereotyping against their people in the military. Also featured is a previously unpublished essay on Thanksgiving, authored by the late Kathy Kerner. Finally, the annotated bibliography is expanded with the entries.

Editorial Reviews:

From VOYA: This volume presents a collection of challenging articles detailing uses and abuses of Native American symbols, images, ideas, and stories that are directed at youth in the mass media. Toys, cartoons, textbooks, general reading, media portrayals, sports logos, nicknames, and more are discussed in standalone articles. Continually faced with stereotypes and offensive portrayals, Native children have difficulties developing strong, positive self-images. Chilling accounts given by children show just how important this issue is, emphasizing that we is not possible to start teaching too early. Topics addressed include the use of offensive terms in alphabet books, the depiction of animals dressed in Native costumes, and poorly planned class assignments. In updating the earlier edition, this work adds information that is more recent as well as a wealth of article, book, and Web site bibliographical references. Every time librarians purchase materials for their collections that have negative or inaccurate representations of Native Americans, more youth are endangered. The recent debates about Rinaldi's My Heart Is on the Ground (Scholastic, 1999/​VOYA October 1999) show how important these issues are for readers of all ages today. Through these articles, librarians and teachers can better understand what is offensive and how to avoid perpetuating hurtful stereotypes and images with all children. This important title should be required reading for librarians, especially those in collection development, as well as educators.

Selected Works

Non-fiction
Children's Non-Fiction
Winner of the 2014 Arab American Museum Children's Book of the Year, this book chronicles the diverse histories and contemporary lives of Arab Americans.
Children's Nonfiction
Winner of the 2010 Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards Gold Medalist in Activity Books and the 2010 Independent Publishers Silver Award for Interactive Books. Hands-on activities, games, and crafts introduce children to the diversity of Native American cultures and teach them about the people, experiences, and events that have helped shape America, past and present.
Kennedy Center Multicultural Book Honoree, 2005; The Cooperative Children’s Book Center Choices, 2004; International Reading Association Notable Book for a Global Society, 2003. This award-winning book highlights 26 contemporary Native groups.
Winner of the 2008 Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards Gold Medal in Multicultural Non-Fiction and the Bank Street College "The Best Children’s Books of 2008." This children's non-fiction multicultural book highlights diversity in the United States.
Adult Nonfiction
A realistic and diverse guide to teaching about today’s Native Americans.
A manual for anyone interested in telling the truth about American Indians.