Friday, April 26, 2013

International Stories for Picture Book Friday

This week for Picture Book Friday, I am going international!  Your children are never too young to introduce them to other cultures - their stories and traditions.

The first book I am profiling came from a search request I got from a Muslim mother.  She was asking me about books that would help kids understand the Muslim culture.  The second was a request from a boy of Indian heritage at a book fair, who was looking for stories that fit into his culture.  He didn't express it that way, he was only six, but he wanted a book of Indian stories and so the hunt was on!

I thought that these parent and chidren's requests probably represent a larger need for books that give kids a more global perspective.  So I hope you and your kids enjoy these stories.  As the years go on I would love to see books that blur the line between a good story and an international outlook!

Title:       Golden Domes and Silver Laterns: A Muslim Book of Colors

Author:    Hena Kahn

Target:     Preschool - Kindergarten

What this book is about:
At its most basic, this book is about colors.  However, this book encompasses so much more.  It is also a primer on Muslim culture, encompassing traditions and definitions of important items that are apart of daily and religious life.  Children learn about the white kufi, round hats worn by Muslim men and boys and the yellow box holding the zakat, money donated to those in need.

Why I love this book:
First off, the illustrations are gorgeous.  They are colorful and bold and will immediately hold a child’s attention.  I also simply loved learning about elements of the Muslim culture and children will be informed in a beautiful and creative way. 

This book is a lovely introduction to the basics of what may be a new religion to some children, and for those who are Muslim it presents the cultural elements in a visually stimulating way.  

Who this book is for:
Great way to introduce the concept of other religions to young children, but it is also a lovely book of colors at heart.

Final thoughts:
This book may well inspire questions about other world religions and expend your child’s view.

To purchase this book, click on the following link to connect to Amazon Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns: A Muslim Book of Colors  A portion of each purchase goes to support this blog.

Title:       The Elephant’s Friend and Other Tales from Ancient India

Author:   Marcia Williams

Target:    Grades 2-5

What this book is about:
This book is a retelling of eight indian folktales in a graphic novel format.  Of course each story espouses a virtue such as “greed doesn’t pay” and “wisdom can overcome physical strength.”

Why I love this book:
Sometimes books of folktales can get a little preachy and highbrow, but this book does not suffer that fate.  The graphic novel format actually helps move the stories along at a good pace and the author interjects humorous sidebars to make the stories even more engaging.  

This is a good book to give kids exposure to fables and those lessons that transcend cultures.

Who this book is for:
Most kids should enjoy the book given the colorful illustrations and easy to read format.

Final thoughts:
I love exposing kids to the stories from other cultures.  It simply broadens their world view.  Also, many of the stories have similar counterparts in our own culture, which shows kids that even though we may take different paths, we all end up in the same place!

To purchase this book, click on the following link to connect to Amazon: The Elephant's Friend and Other Tales from Ancient India  A portion of each purchase goes to support this blog.

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