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!
This is part 2 of the 3 part series on Top 10: Best Native American Children’s Books by Debbie Reese. For her Top 10 list of Picture Books, please click here.
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.
Every summer I stress out about what 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 multi-cultural 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!
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.
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.
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.
It was strange to me that many important Japanese American stories were not told by Japanese Americans. I tried, therefore, to focus my Top 10: Japanese American Children’s Books list on lesser known authors telling important stories. I hope this list will inspire more authors in this genre!