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Books for Kids About Other Cultures – Book Suggestions – 04/04/13

Posted on: Thursday, April 4th, 2013

Our blog this week was about having the kids do a research project about other cultures and comparing it to their own culture.  This would be the basis for a discussion with the family.  Not only will this encourage kids to do research but will help them to develop their critical thinking skills.

Children Just Like Me: A Unique Celebration of Children Around the World by Anabel Kindersley is for kids in grades 3-6.  “A delightful, attractive look at children from around the world.  The authors spent two years meeting and photographing youngsters from every continent and more than 140 countries.  The volume is divided by continent, which is introduced with photos of children, their names, and nationalities.  Then a double-page spread features pictures of each child’s food, eating utensils, housing, school, friends, and family.  The text gives the young people a chance to comment on their favorite games, friends, and hopes for the future.  The final section includes excerpts from the Kindersleys’ travel diary.  This book is factual, respectful, and insightful. It provides just the right balance of information and visual interest for the intended audience.  Joan Soulliere, Wenham Public Library, MA  Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.”  Review from Amazon.

Hannah Is My Name: A Young Immigrant’s Story   “It’s a long way from Taiwan to San Francisco, but Hannah’s family has made the journey because they want to make America their home. In America, Baba tells his daughter, people are free to say what they think, and children can grow up to be whatever they choose. As Hannah takes a new name, starts a new school, learns a new language, and adjusts to a new way of life, they all wait — and hope — for the arrival of the green cards that will assure they are finally home to stay.
A National Council for the Social Studies Notable Trade Book for Young People” Review from Amazon.

Children of the Dragon: Selected Tales from Vietnam by Sherry Garland is for kids in grades 3-6.  “Once upon a time in old Vietnam,” begins “The Raven and the Star Fruit,” exemplifying the spell of enchantment cast over these half dozen stories.  If the setting is exotic with its banyan trees and lotus blossoms, water buffalo and tigers the classic themes are universal.  They include talking animals and beautiful princesses, requited and unrequited love as well as familiar human flaws.  For instance, in the above-mentioned tale a raven rewards the generosity of a poor couple by leading them to an island of treasures, while the same opportunity has disastrous results for the husband’s foolish elder brother and his greedy wife.  Garland (Shadow of the Dragon) places each story within its historical, geographical and cultural context, enriching readers’ understanding of Vietnam and its people. “The Legend of the Monsoon Rains” recounts the ongoing dispute between the Lord of the Mountains and the Lord of the Seas for the hand of the emperor’s daughter followed by a discussion of Vietnam’s crops and weather; the tale of  ”The Boatman’s Flute” highlights the country’s transportation and governmental systems.  Hyman (A Child’s Calendar) complements the richly embroidered retellings with jewel-like India ink and acrylic illustrations.  From the fluid pattern of stripes on a tiger’s back (for a pourquoi tale) to the dark sweep of a maiden’s hair and lissome bend of a willow branch, the artist applies her signature flowing lines and graceful artistry; she captures all the romance and beauty of the stories and their setting.  Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.”  Review from Amazon.

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This entry was posted in Activities for kids, Book recommendations, Books, Conversation with kids, Critical Thinking Skills, Cultures, Listening to kids, Other Cultures. Bookmark the permalink.

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