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Book Suggestions

Life in Other Countries
It is important to introduce your child early to children from other countries so they can begin to try on life for size.


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The Umbrella Queen

by Shirin Bridges

Illustrated by Taeeun Yoo

Greenwillow Books 2008

Ages: 3 to 5

Topic: Life in Other Countries

In a village in Thailand where everyone makes umbrellas, Noot wants her design to win for the king. But her unusual design gets much criticism from her family and villagers, until the king chooses her design because "she paints from her heart." MORE...


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Snow Falling in Spring: Coming of Age in China During the Cultural Revolution

by Moying Li

Farrar, Straus and Giroux 2008

Ages: 10 and Up

Topic: Life in Other Countries

This is a memoir of the wrenching years of the Cultural Revolution under Mao Zedong. Its even tone allows the terror to stand on its own. The book is written for young readers, but can also be a wonderful novel for adults. In essence, "This is a book about the value of reading - to escape, to learn, to be sustained and to grow." - John Schwartz in Children's Book Review, New York Times , August 17, 2008. MORE...


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The Day of the Pelican

by Katherine Paterson

Clarion Books 2009

Ages: 10 and Up

Topic: Life in Other Countries

In this compassionate, powerful novel by award-winning Katherine Paterson, we revisit the plight of refugees. This time the Lleshi family escapes from Kosovo as they fight off the Serbs and land in a refugee camp. Thirteen-year-old Meli's life changes abruptly when the family immigrates to America. Their struggle to adjust to a new country is especially relevant to events today and helps us remember how hard it is to start life anew, especially after 9/11. MORE...


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Grandfather’s Journey

by Allen Say

Houghton Mifflin/Walter Lorraine Books 1993

Ages: 5 to 7

Topic: Life in Other Countries

No matter which country you came from, this book will ring true in your heart, for you will always have one foot in one place and long for the other. “The funny thing is, the moment I am in one country, I am homesick for the other.” It is the same feeling that Pearl Buck wrote about in her novel, My Several Worlds. MORE...


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Kamishibai Man

by Allen Say

Houghton Mifflin/Walter Lorraine Books 2005

Ages: 7 to 10

Topic: Life in Other Countries

I have been a long admirer of Allen Say’s art work and his master watercolor illustrations add a special luminous quality to this touching story set in Japan. In Japanese, kami means “paper” and shibai is “theater”. This story tells the importance of the itinerant storytellers who used to travel on bicycles and gather children for shows of their paper theater stories, rewarding them with homemade candies afterwards. This dying art of the kamishibai storytellers is captured in a moving story of a retired man who wants to relive this experience with one last performance. MORE...


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Elizabeti's Doll

by Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen

Illustrated by Christy Hale

Lee & Low 1998

Ages: 3 to 5

Topic: Life in Other Countries

When a young Tanzanian girl gets a new baby brother, she longs to have a doll to hug too. So she finds an oval shaped rock, feeds it, burps it, and ties it to her back just like her mother. When her sister accidentally uses the rock to start a fire, Elizabeti rescues it in time to sing it to sleep. MORE...