All posts tagged multicultural chapter books

MultiCulti MultiCultural KidLit Children's books culture around the world PragmaticMom Teach Me Tuesday

My Top 5 Most Popular Multicultural Posts of 2011

Multicultural Books and Activities for Kids

My Teach Me Tuesday Multi-Cultural series is a labor of love for me. It is titled Teach Me Tuesday because it teaches me about different countries, culture and KidLit and I actually thought it didn’t get may page views because it usually gets just a handful the week that it’s posted. I was really surprised to see that these posts do get read during the year so I will continue to do this series. Thanks so much for reading! Read more…

Who Will Tell MyBrother?, Marlene Carvell, http://PragmaticMom.com, Pragmatic Mom, best native indian chapter books, Debbie Reese, best native american novels for children

Top 10: Best Native American Middle School Books

Best Native American Chapter Books for Middle School

This is part 2 of the 3 part series on Top 10:  Best Native American Children’s Books by Debbie Reese.  She is the authority on this topic.  This list has her top picks for middle school chapter books. For her Top 10 list of Picture Books, please click here.   Read more…

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Argentina: kids books, artisans, and gauchos

Argentina for Kids with Books, Crafts and Culture

We travel this week to Argentina.  Why? Well, our Spanish tutor is from Argentina and my middle daughter made a new and lovely friend whose family also hails from 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 so that is what I dug around for.  I hope you enjoy this armchair family trip to Argentina.  Bienvenidos!  Welcome! Read more…

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Top 50: Best Multicultural Children’s Books

Best Multicultural Books Every Child Should Read

Every summer I stress out about what picture and chapter books to get for my kids that they will like but are also exposing them — as only books can do — to the wide world all around them both past, present and future.

This summer, we are going to take a trip around the world by reading these multicultural books.  What is great about this list is that it covers all the ages of my kids: from preschool through elementary school.

I will be sneaky and check out these books for them and leave them strewn about the house for them to examine when they are bored. I will keep you posted on what books my kids actually liked because that is a whole ‘nother list! See you at the library! Read more…

China for Kids: Cultural Revolution, Books for Kids and More

China for Kids with Children’s Books, Culture and Design

China for Kids: Cultural Revolution, Books for Kids and More

I thought I’d finish up my family history and then I promise to move on from Asia for a while! I covered my mother’s Japanese aristocratic Daimyo history here, and my husband’s royal Yi Dynasty ancestry here.

My father immigrated from China before the Communist Revolution and like most Mainland  China expats, he has his own Joy Luck Club tale to tell. But first, isn’t it funny/strange that most everyone seems to be related to a royal or an aristocrat if you just go far enough back in time? Is this because that is the history that people take pains to preserve? Or maybe these family trees are immense?

In any case, my father’s Chinese side of the family is not related to royals (though with so much history and shake ups, you’d think almost everyone in China had a shot at that) or aristocrats; his family were silk merchants. I don’t exactly have all the details but I would imagine that his family did soup to nuts — raising silk worms, spinning thread, weaving fabric and then selling it. I would also guess that they were prosperous but not moguls  in that I know that his relatives suffered greatly during the Cultural Revolution.

In China, most opportunities for advancement are based on standardized tests, particularly in education. My father did well and went to the top university in China and then he went on to teach math at a university. He was later sponsored by the Chinese government to study in the United States, and he went to U.C.L.A. to get his PhD in math. Rumor has it that he fudged his age a tad to appear younger in order to qualify. Read more…

best Chinese American books for kids

Top 10: Chinese American Children’s Books (ages 2-14)

The Chinese immigrant experience is one with a long history in America resulting in becoming the largest Asian population in America today.  There is a great one-page overview on Chinese immigration that details this history.  Interestingly, this article says that the earliest Chinese immigrants during the 1700’s were well received and became wealthy but attitudes changes negatively during the mid-1800’s when less skilled Chinese “Coolies” came during the gold rush.

As I think about the Chinese immigrant experience — my father immigrated from China to pursue a Ph.D program at U.C.L.A. a few years before the Communist Revolution — my own experience is probably similar to most second generation immigrants in the quest to balance American culture while honoring an Asian past.  Of course, my background is dissimilar to most Chinese immigrant stories as my mother is of Japanese descent and 2nd generation at that.  And did I mention that I married a Korean?

And so each of us carries an immigrant story that is unique.  I chose these books because there was something special about each of them that helps me to connect to my Chinese roots and I hope that you enjoy them to, even if your ancestry isn’t Asian.

For my own children, a “mixed-plate” to quote a Hawaiian term,  they are 2nd, 3rd and 4th generation Asian.  And at 1/4 Chinese, 1/4 Japanese and 1/2 Korean, they are an unusual mix in that these three countries have traditionally hated each other for centuries.  And so in reading these stories, they may or may not relate to any of these stories, but I hope that it will help them to honor and take pride in their ancestry even if it’s as varied as a patchwork quilt.

Chinese American Books for Kids Honorable Mention

Making Friends with Billy Wong by Augusta Scattergood

Augusta Scattergood tackles a little known subject: that Asian Americans were also subject to Jim Crow laws in the South. In this chapter book, she gently weaves together a story of Azalea, a rising fifth grader sent to live her grandmother in Arkansas that she’s never met before. Grandma Clark is a woman with a towering presence; she encourages Azalea to make friends with Billy Wong who is also new to their small town. He’s living with his Great Uncle and Aunt so that he can attend a previously all white school and works in their small grocery store. There’s also the bully, Willis, and Scattergood shows us that things are not black and white; behind his prejudice are family responsibilities heavy for a young boy to bear. Grandma Clark’s plan for a more tolerant community is simple; she utilizes Garden Helpers to help out while she’s recuperating, thus forcing everyone to work together. Azalea discovers that she’s more similar to her grandmother than she realized, and their relationship, like hers with Billy Wong, strengthens from the adversity of facing racism around them. [chapter book, ages 8 and up]

Mama and Papa Have a Store by Amelia Lau Carling

I love this story about a Chinese family that immigrated to Guatemala City and owns a store. Depicting a typical day in the life of family as described by the youngest, it’s an fun way to learn about the people and culture of Guatemala and the gentle rhythm of their lives. [picture book, ages 4 and up]

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Sri Lanka with Kids Books, Recipe and Design

Exploring Sri Lanka for Kids through Children’s Books, Food and More

I love this local cafe, L’Aroma Cafe, which seems to be a vortex attracting all kinds of nice people and frequently people who I know both one and two degrees of separation apart.  It was no different the other day when I was hanging out, waiting for a friend to arrive.  The owner came up and started talking to me.  They had offered their space to my friend,  Sharon Schindler,  a talented photographer of quintessential Boston, and it was wildly popular so all parties involved were thrilled, myself included because I got to eat yummy desserts surrounded by her gorgeous photos.   Read more…

Teach Me Tuesday Korean A Single Shard Linda Sue Park PragmaticMom Pragmatic Mom Celadon Asian Pottery

Discovering Korea for Kids with Kids’ Books, Art and Food

Exploring Korea through Books for Kids, Celadon Pottery, Chosun Chests and More!

This was my second pilgrimage to the Brimfield Antique Flea Market with Sharon Schindler Photography and Capability:Mom. Sharon is there to shoot and shop. She shot some amazing vintage photographs there last year and Capability:Mom has the Ball Jars photo on her kitchen wall. This year they both scored blue-y tinged vintage Ball Jars for a song, a purchase that was made sweeter when we found out that the rest of the vintage jars there were much more expensive! Read more…

Japanese American books for kids, multicultural books for kids, WWII books for kids, Japanese books for children, Japan books, books for kids Japan

Top 10: Japanese American Children’s Books (ages 2-16)

Best Japanese American Books for Kids

The story of Japanese immigration is also true for my own family history.  Changes in Japan during the Meiji Restoration from 1868 to 1912 wrought great changes in Japan as the country tried to modernize.  The old feudal system of titled landowners was abruptly stripped away, and the daimyo domains of titled landowners were turned into prefectures.   For those families including my own, they were forced to buy back their own lands as some of their lost lands included sacred family burial grounds.  To earn the money, large numbers of Japanese men found work in Hawaii in the pineapple and sugar cane plantations and from there, migrated to the mainland. Read more…