This week, we are exploring Africa. Why? A million years ago b.c. (before children), I designed and manufactured women’s golf apparel using natural fibers and geared to fashion forward twenty-, thirty- and forty-somethings. The first collection used gorgeous fabrics from West Africa.
One of my favorite blogs, The Fourth Musketeer, just covers KidLit Historical Fiction. I pretty much file every book review of hers into an email folder labeled “Books I Want to Read.” She posted on the Historical Association Awards Young Quills from Great Britain here. I have listed the winners as well as the short lists for this year and last year. Historical fiction is a great way to get kids excited about history! If you want to find more great books, be sure to subscribe to The Fourth Musketeer’s blog. She’s a librarian and the go to person on that!
As I researched Chile, I found another Nobel winning poet, Gabriela Mistral. Two Nobel poets from one small country?! The souls of Chileans are truly steeped in poetry, optimism and beauty. At least, that is what I conclude after looking at what they can do with horsehair, graffiti and mere words!
My 5th grade daughter’s book club got invited to the 5th grade boys’ book club because they had a special guest, William Maliul, an articulate and engaging Lost Boy of Sudan, who came to speak about his experiences in Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, and the United States. Brothers in Hope was the book club selection and though it is a picture book, the content is suitable for a 4th or 5th grader.
We travel this week to Argentina. When I think of Argentina, the first thing I think of is beef but there is more to Argentina than just cattle. I wanted to explore the gauchos (Argentinean cowboys) and indigenous people.
We travel this week to Japan and go back in time with some stories of my family to the Daimyo Shogunate in Japan. I have chosen some kidlit to reflect the duality of Japan versus United States, and have featured artists who are reflected in the books including ukiyo-e masters Hiroshige and Hokusai and the father of Manga, Osamu Tezuka.
To cover the Culture Revolution, I selected Little Leap Forward, a chapter book about living during this time in China. Zen Shorts still remains one of my all time favorite picture books because is manages to combine Chinese Philosopher Chuang Tsu’s parables in a way that is accessible to kids and yet leave adult readers pondering Big Ideas. Finally, for everyone who has a Joy Luck Club story from their homeland, I hope that you all have had a chance to read this book that broke the ground for a new Asian American literature genre twenty-five years ago.
The first book is a picture book that is a really wonderful way to visit another culture with your children. The second book is for young adults. As for the food, I was intimidated to make Sri Lankan food, but the owner’s son who manages the two cafes assured me that this was an easy and delicious recipe that he loved as a child. As for Sri Lanka interior design, it reminds of me of Ralph Lauren when he tries to create romantic images of British Colonial Style. It’s elegant cane furniture crossed with Polynesian style.
Travel to Korea via children’s books, food, and culture with me as I share my husband’s family history of the Yi Dynasty or Choson period, considered the Golden Age of Korea.