Clare Bradford discusses a number of picture books and a junior novel in which the narratives are structured around interactions between Asian-Australian children and their grandparents; Grandpa and Ah Gong (Xiangyi Mo and Morag Loh, 1995), Old Magic (Alan Baillie, 1996), Grandpa's Mask (Di Wu and Jing Jing Guo, 2001), What a Mess Fang Fang! (Sally Rippin, 1998). She proposes that these texts provide an opportunity to introduce 'ideas around change, continuity and cultural meanings' to young readers through their specific focus on 'the everyday experiences of growing up in a multicultural society' (36). As children's texts 'habitually hinge upon narratives of growth and development' (36) Bradford points out that crosscultural and cross-generational relations between grandparents and their grandchildren are often informed by 'different experiences and perspective that are negotiated through external objects, artefacts and markings' (37). There is an emphasis on 'making' in the texts, that Bradford reads, in terms of multicultural discourse, as suggestive of Stevenson's notion that cultural citizens 'construct themselves...by learning to move within multiple and diverse communities' (41). Bradford's analysis points to the 'limitations of the picture book form' in 'representing the social and cultural complexities of diasporic experience' (41); however, she also sees these texts as speaking to children's literature more generally through 'a surplus of meaning, an excess of signification that seeks to provide pleasure while socializing young citizens' (41).
Kate McInally argues that in Looking for Alibrandi, Josie's specifically gendered quest for maturity' is one that 'erases multicultural identity' in all but its most overt manifestations (59). The analysis assesses 'intersections between raced and gendered indentity', with McInally stating that the narrative is fundamentally underpinned by an 'overwhelmingly monocultural ideology: that of acceptability attained through paternal sanction that transcends cultural heritage, to value aspirations of whiteness' (59).
McInally argues that 'Josie's aspirations for, and eventual acquisition of cultural capital is accessible only through her relationship with men' (59) a relationship based upon masculine domination which requires 'a feminine complicitness that the novel is all too ready to grant' (59). In her desire for 'economic, social and symbolic capital', Josie is required to 'move away from her Italianess to a position that is markedly more hegemonic' and while the novel may appear to overtly celebrate a 'multiculturalist agenda' this is offset against 'the way social capital accrues to an adolescent female who becomes 'daddy's little girl' (59).
For McInally, the novel's closure not only maintains and perpetuates cross-cultural relations whereby the 'other' is accepted, or tolerated, only for 'the ways they can enrich the host culture', it also ensures that Josie's 'mature subjectivity...is attained through her assimilation into dominant monomorality; accepting the rightness and whiteness of male domination...and patriarchal Australia as her embraced homeland' (66).