Of Grit and Gumption, Sass and Verve: What Gifted Students Can Learn from Multicultural Picture Book Biographies

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Citations (Scopus)


The significant role Picture Book Biographies (PBBs) play when it comes to providing readers with a deeper understanding of ‘global connections and cultural diversity’ is evident in the research (Morgan, 2009). This becomes even more important among gifted and talented readers who can use multicultural PBBs to know more intimately the life narratives of men and women who have achieved expertise and prominence in their respective fields and domains. Multicultural titles, in particular, would allow readers to see themselves as part of humanity and provide a window to other societies and lifestyles that may be unfamiliar to them. The use of biographies that focus on diverse populations allows students to see everyone as having equally high potential and helps develop an appreciation of alternative pathways to talent development and expertise. Based on a research project that looks into building a database of multicultural picture books for social and emotional learning, text-sets of PBBs by award-winning authors and artists have been compiled, representing different types of giftedness including artistic, literary, musical, athletic, leadership, and intellectual skills. This would be linked to cognitive traits of the gifted and talented, social and emotional issues experienced by the gifted, and social and emotional traits of gifted learners and the highly creative. The PBBs of resilient individuals who demonstrate sass and verve and grit and gumption despite misfortune and adversity will likewise be shared and discussed. Through these inspired and well-crafted biographies, it is hoped that teachers can scaffold gifted readers’ understandings of and identification with, diverse people from around the world and come to realise how the road to excellence can prove to be an arduous, but meaningful journey.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSpringer International Handbooks of Education
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages23
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Publication series

NameSpringer International Handbooks of Education
VolumePart F1630
ISSN (Print)2197-1951
ISSN (Electronic)2197-196X


  • Gifted students
  • High-ability learners
  • Multicultural children’s literature
  • Picture book biographies
  • Social and emotional learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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