India

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Maya and Leela Present: Dances of India
by Kyra Khanna and Malini Sekhar, Illustrated by Alyssa M. Torres

Children love to dance and move, and this bright and beautiful board book introduces them to Indian culture in the most wonderful way – through the enthusiastic eyes of two young girls.

In Dances of Of India, Maya and Leela watch and participate as the dancing and music come to life with bells jingling, sticks tapping, drums drumming and dancers acting out legendary characters.  Deceptively simple, the book is a ton of fun to read but can be used in lots of ways  – to teach basic beats of music, to share stories that the dancers reenact or to try out fun creative activities with kids such as tapping musical sticks, making masks or swirling with colorful scarves.

How to sum up this book for young readers and pre-readers?  The last page does it perfectly:

“All Across the Land,
Music Fills The air
That’s because, in India
Dance is everywhere !”

Check out this wonderful “must have” book for tiny dancers and little global citizens!  To purchase a copy from the publisher’s site, visit:
https://squareup.com/market/our-little-loka-store

Or find it on Amazon at:
http://www.amazon.com/Maya-Leela-Present-Dances-India/dp/0991140001

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Coloring Book CoverColoring is such a fun way to explore the world with kids.

This 14 page E-book available as an immediate digital download from TeachersPayTeachers shares a dozen different instruments from world cultures plus a map of where you might find them. Instruments included are ones that are easily recognized – like the guitar – but also more unusual instruments that come from Russia, India, China, Hawaii and South America as well.

uke bwColoring the black and white image, learning about the instrument and locating it’s country of origin are just a few ways that classrooms and homeschoolers use this book to explore a world of music.

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/LETS-COLOR-A-WORLD-OF-MUSIC-1253263

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Written by and Meera Sriram and Praba Ram, Illustrations by Koel Basu

One of the great things about books is that they can take you and your family around the world.  You can visit another country or explore a different culture. And some books – like Bijoy and the Big River – have just the right combination of great information, rich photography and an engaging story.

In this book you get to visit with a young boy from the state of Assam in Northeast India.  Their family lives close to an important river that flows out of the Himalaya mountains and past their village.  A great deal of their lives revolves around the river as well as their occupation of raising silkworms and making silk.  On one special day, Bijoy gets to accompany his dad on his first ferry trip to a village famous for making some of the finest silk in the land.

Traveling with Bijoy, the wonders of this area unfold, combining details of day-to-day life with exciting experiences such as seeing river dolphins, a beautiful sunset on the river or passing a cruise ship bound for a nearby wildlife park. Bijoy and the Big River is a wonderful, children’s book that will intrigue readers of any age and encourage them to discover more about this exciting and important region of the world.

You can purchase this book from Tulika Press, a publishing house  offering exceptional books for young readers in a variety of languages including English, Telegu, Bengali, Gujarati and Tamil.  Find out more here:

http://www.tulikabooks.com/book_details.php?mid=2&c_id=4&s_id=17&b_id=327

 

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Written by Bhakti Mathur

Illustrated By Maulshree Somani

Several teachers I know recommended this book as a fun way to learn about the holiday of Diwali – through rhymes!  They felt the book was fun, age appropriate and also culturally accurate and respectfully written!  Text and illustrations are adorable and introduce this holiday to readers in a way that is as exciting and understandable.

Highly recommended!


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Written By Verma Jatinder, Illustrated By Nilesh Mistry

This book is less about the holiday of Diwali and more about the exciting story behind it.  The book is a retelling of the “Ramayana”, an age-old Hindu epic tale of  how Prince Rama overcomes the Demon King.  Full of adventure, magic and miracles, this story will delight both young and older readers.

Perfect for reading as part of a Diwali celebration or as a way to learn more about India and Hindu folklore.

 


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By Roger Priddy

A 12 page, beautiful, bright  “touch and feel” board book about Diwali, perfect for the youngest child.

What a nice way to share this joyous holiday with really young children through colorful rangoli and other simple but pleasing, powerful images that share the spirit of this holiday.


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Written by Jonny Zucker, Illustrations by Jan Barger

For Hindu people, Diwali is a very special holiday that celebrates the new year.  Although customs and practices vary from area to area and from North to South India, Diwali is a joyous occasion involving bringing in a new year, making and sharing sweets, gathering with friends and family and telling stories that have deep and powerful cultural significance.

How do people celebrate Diwali?  Beautiful, colorful patterns called rangolis are painted and small lights called “diya” are lit (or modern electric lights are sometimes used as well).  And then there are trips to the temple, small presents, fireworks and much more!  This book is perfect for children of any age. Beautiful pictures and easy to read text share the joy and fun of this special holiday in a way that is sure to appeal to any reader.


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Retold by Dharmachari Nagaraja

The byline of this book describes this wonderful bedtime storybook perfectly – Tales of Love and Wisdom for You to Read with Your Child to Enchant, Enlighten and Inspire.  Retold by Dharmachari Nagaraja, these 20 modern versions of classic Buddhist stories are fun, intriguing and teach profound lessons without ever seeming “preachy”.

Buddah at Bedtime is also a beautiful looking book.  It is illustrated throughout with some of the most lovely, multicultural images that bring the stories alive and don’t seem to limit them to any one tradition but could easily charm readers from any culture in the world.

Best of all – the stories delight.  Animals talk. Families travel to exciting celebrations. A rich miser learns the real value of friendship and four sisters discover the value of sharing their ideas and wisdom, instead of seeing things from only one perspective.  This is a story book that the adults in your family will enjoy at least as much as the younger listeners – perhaps even more!

Highly recommended!


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Categories : Bedtime, India
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By Rafe Martin, Illustrated by Famimeh Amiri

A bridge of monkeys – how could that be?

In this retelling of a Buddhist Jataka tale, you follow the story of a group of monkeys and their wise king.  They live in a secret location near a tree that bears the most beautiful and wonderous fruit.  One day a human king finds out about this tree and it’s possible that the monkeys may not only lose their own tree, but their very lives!   How does their wise monkey king overcome these difficulties and save the day?

What are Jataka tales?  Author; Rafe Martin, shares a forward to the book that explains the history of jataka tales – some 500 or so stories about past lives of the Buddha, meant to inspire, encourage and teach.  This retelling of one of those tales is a beautifully illustrated book that also teaches a marvelous lesson about finding positive solutions to troubling problems and what it means to be an inspiring leader.


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Written by Pooja Makhijani, Illustrated By Elena Gomez

This book is a gentle and moving story of a young girl whose family no longer lives in India.  However, her mother has a suitcase of her special and beautiful saris underneath her bed that she brings out and wears on special occasions, like the day her daughter was born.

A trip through the suitcase shares many wonderful details of family history and the girl finally convinces her mom that she is old enough to wear a beautiful sari of her own.  Which one does she pick and what special surprise does her mother have to go with the sari?  Pick up this book to experience a wonderful dress-up adventure, Indian style.


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Categories : Early/Elementary, India, Moms
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Feb
22

Monkey Photo

Written By Gita Wolf, Illustrated By Swarna Chitrakar

Monkey Photo by Gita Wolf and illustrated by artist Swarna Chitrakar is another example of unique Indian folk art, this time the patua (Bengali folk style) from Bengal is showcased. The layers of stripes and dots and curls make the animals look exotic and fanciful, and my kids wanted me to read very s-l-o-w-l-y so they could pour over the illustrations.

This is a silly story of a monkey who is tired of being photographed by tourists. He grabs the camera, and begins to snap pictures of his other animal friends in the jungle. My son (4) says “I would call the police if he stole my camera!”

-Becky Morales, Kid World Citizen (www.kidworldcitizen.org).


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Categories : Animals, First Readers, India
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Written By Anushka Ravishankar

Illustrated By Durga Bai

One, Two, Tree by Anushka Ravishankar, Sirish Rao, and illustrated by the exceptional artist Durga Bai, is the perfect preschool or kindergarten book, counting the numerous animals that somehow fit into an enormous tree. What makes this book so remarkable is the traditional folk art, from the Gond Tribal tradition of Central India. My daughter (4) says “How can so many animals climb up a tree?!” Check out other books by internationally renown Indian author Ravishankar like award-winning Tiger on a Tree, I Like Cats, or Excuse Me, Is This India?

-Becky Morales, Kid World Citizen (www.kidworldcitizen.org)


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Written by Valerie Petrillo

This book is a great way to learn about the culture and traditions of people who came to the US from China, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, India, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.  There is a series of 70 crafts exploring cooking, art, dance, folklore and holidays as well as language, history and outstanding historical figures.

Some of my favorites from this book are the Mehndi hand painting, the Japanese fish printing craft, ribbon dancing activities, origami, taiko drumming and even a snakes and ladders game from India and a “kick-the-can” game from the Philippines.  There are lots of wonderfully easy recipes for such goodies as rice balls, Banana Lassi (yogurt drink), Vietnamese beef noodle soup and Cambodian spring rolls plus lots of suggestions for sweets!  Lastly, there are also pages for learning basic phrases in several languages such as Mandarin and Hindi.

All in all, this book is a treasure of information as well as fun activities that can liven up the home or classroom at Chinese New Year or any time of year!

Highly recommended!


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