Date of Award

Summer 8-2015

Degree Type

Honors College Thesis


Foreign Languages and Literature

First Advisor

Laurel Abreu

Advisor Department

Foreign Languages and Literature


Children of all backgrounds can use literature as a means to understand the world in which they live. Therefore, it is important that children’s books represent diverse cultures and experiences. This study analyzed Hispanic children’s literature published in the U.S. that contained child characters with bicultural Hispanic-American identities. The aim of this study was to determine how the linguistic and literary elements in five books, which contained bilingual Spanish-English interwoven text, combined to present a bicultural identity and lifestyle in the United States today. The literary elements analyzed included themes, character portrayal, the roles of family and the elderly, and the presence of stereotypes. The linguistic elements that were analyzed included frequency and grammatical category of Spanish words used, presence of dialogue, and realistic use of Spanish. This work contributes to existing scholarship by revealing that, while the overall portrayal of bicultural identity was positive, there is still room for improvement in the incorporation of the Spanish language. This study emphasizes the need for accurate representations in children’s literature today.