Preschool – Earliest Readers
Erin Eitter Kono
Gorgeous illustrations fill this bedtime book that instantly draw both parent and child into a world of hula, swaying palm trees and towering volcanoes. Music and dance wrap their way around a mother and baby as many of the meaningful traditions of Hawaiian culture are gently and simply explained.
What does “aloha” and the aloha spirit mean? Why does the mother call her little one “keiki”? And how can a gourd called an ipu be a drum? Simple enough for the tiniest child but rich enough for older readers, this is beautiful book is a marvelous journey to a memorable Hawaiian paradise.
If the music of Hawaii captivates your interest, check out this related post:
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:
Or find it on Amazon at:
Who hasn’t sung the rhyme or played the game of “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes”? This adorable book shares that popular kids rhyme and game in both English and Spanish.
Although a few parents I knew were bothered that the author substituted the words “legs” for “knee” and “foot” and toes”, the Spanish lyrics work within the song perfectly and are super-singable for kids of any age.
A wonderful little board book that not only teaches new words but encourages kids to get active with language and play!
A beautiful little “first book” for young children, especially those learning in both English and Spanish. Colorful illustrations of animal families are used to share the concepts of loving and caring that children will relate directly to their own lives.
I especially appreciated how this book focuses on the simple interactions that are so meaningful to both parent and child: listening while a child talks, tucking them into bed, singing a song for them, etc. Whether you’re adding this book for home or the early education classroom, you’ll get get hours of enjoyment from this wonderful board book for bilingual babies and toddlers!
Find This Book on Amazon.com here: Quiero a mi Mama Porque (I Love my Mommy Because Eng/Span ed) (Spanish Edition)
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.
Written and Illustrated by Karen Katz
Although written for earliest readers, this is a beautiful, informational and inspirational book for any age! Karen’s Katz’s beautiful illustrations take you through the seven days of Kwanzaa and the activities that one family does to celebrate each day.
It’s wonderful to watch principles or concepts such as “creativity, faith, self-determination, and helping our neighborhood grow” come alive on the pages of this book. A great book for reading or reading aloud at holiday time to inspire the question… what do the holidays mean to you?
Suggested Reading Level – Ages 3 and up.
A simple way to get acquainted with Kwanzaa
During the seven days of Kwanzaa we celebrate the importance of family, friends, and community. This warm and lively introduction to a very special holiday will help even the youngest children join in!
Author and illustrator Karen Katz kicks off a wonderful new series of picture books for the very young with My First Kwanzaa. The series will offer a simple and fun way to get familiar with the traditions of holiday celebrations from different cultures.
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.
Book by Priddy, Roger
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)
This visually stunning read-aloud book invites young children to count the improbable numbers of animals that clamber up an ever-expanding tree. Brilliant original art by a tribal woman artist from central India brings alive this vivacious and colorful tree of animals. One, Two, Tree! combines the sophistication of an art book for children with the accessibility of a read-aloud nursery rhyme tale.
Written by Cheryl Benner
What is Christmas like among the “plain” folk of Pennsylvania? Although there’s no electricity and few modern devices, the holiday season is filled with fun, friendship and giving.
Did you know that students from the Amish schoolhouse are called “scholars”. Find out if they exchange presents. How they thank their teacher and postman at the holiday times? What is a taffy pull – and does it sound like fun? Nicely written and illustrated in black and white, each page allows a child to not only read about this community but also color and explore the pictures and images.
This is a simple and beautiful book – as much fun to read as it is to color! Highly recommended for anyone who is interested in simpler holidays or getting back to “the reason for the season.”
p>Amish families -- with all their children, aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents -- celebrate Christmas in this holiday-happy coloring book. Full of surprises, yet faithful in their detail, these pictures show the many satisfying ways that Amish boys and girls keep Christmas. A delightful series: An Amish Farm Coloring Book An Amish Quilt Coloring Book An Amish Christmas Coloring Book
Written by by Lesléa Newman
Illustration by Krysten Brooker
Everyone’s heard the poem that starts: “ Twas the Night Before Christmas, and all through the house…”. Well, this book has the story of it’s Hanukkah cousin. In this clever, silly and fun little book, it’s the night before Hanukkah and the whole family is getting ready for the celebration when a dreidel suddenly spins out of control. The glorious illustrations take you through a busy holiday home, a cityscape and then out to the country and up to the stars, all the while, sharing the most exciting and wonderful parts of a Hanukkah celebration.
This book is a delightful way to share the customs that make Hanuakkah such a beloved holiday. Clever rhymes and fanciful pictures are ideal for sharing with families who celebrate Hanukkah as well as classrooms where kids celebrate other holidays and want to know more about this bright and beautiful celebration.
Suggested Reading Level – Preschool and up
When a dreidel that takes off through a boy’s living room, the boy—and readers—are taken on a runaway adventure through city streets and along country roads, where modern times and history blend together in magical ways. This celebration of one of Chanukah’s most fun traditions—spinning the dreidel—is sure to be a welcome addition to this healthy holiday category.
Written and Illustrated By Paul Gobel
Paul Goebel’s story and illustrations take you into the wonderful world of the Plains with it’s canyons, cactuses, wild weather and beautiful Native American customs and introduces you to a girl who loves wild horses.
The Amazon.com review of this book sums up the subject matter beautifully: “For most people, being swept away in a horse stampede during a raging thunderstorm would be a terrifying disaster. For the young Native American girl in Paul Goble’s 1979 Caldecott-winning masterpiece, The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses, it is a blessing. Although she loves her people, this girl has a much deeper, almost sacred connection to her equine friends. The storm gives her the opportunity to fulfill her dream–to live in a beautiful land among the wild horses she loves. With brilliant, stylized illustrations and simple text, Paul Goble tells the story of a young woman who follows her heart, and the family that respects and accepts her uniqueness.”
A wonderful combination of a great story and stellar illustrations, this is a great book to share with young children or to read aloud.
Suggested Reading Level – Preschool-Grade 2
"There was a girl in the village who loved horses... She led the horses to drink at the river. She spoke softly and they followed. People noticed that she understood horses in a special way."
And so begins the story of a young Native American girl devoted to the care of her tribe's horses. With simple text and brilliant illustrations. Paul Goble tells how she eventually becomes one of them to forever run free.
Knots on a Counting Rope is the story of a Native American grandfather talking to his grandson, Boy-Strength-of-Blue-Horses, about how he was born and how he has grown. Boy-Strength-of-Blue-Horses was born frail and with no vision, but he has gotten stronger and now rides his own horse, Rainbow, and has trained her to race. The grandfather is a nurturing figure in the story who adores his grandson and has never held him back.
This is a sweet story about the love between a grandfather and his grandson who is blind, and how the grandson is richer and stronger because of this relationship
Suggested Reading Level – Preschool and up
In this poignant story, the counting rope is a metaphor for the passage of time and for a boy's emerging confidence in facing his blindness.
(Folktale Retold) By Joseph Bruchac, Illustrations by Anna Vojtech
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR THIS BOOK
Suggested Reading Level – Ages 3 and up
Find it (new or used) on Amazon here: The First Strawberries (Picture Puffins)
A little girl wakes up in the middle of the night to find she has been invited on a magical journey. Her little stuffed monkey – Fuzzy Patel – wants them to attend a relative’s wedding, but they must journey throughout many beautiful spots in India to get there. A colorful, exciting, beautifully illustrated trek across India!
Along the road to Mumbai, Shoba and her monkey, Fuzzy Patel, make many new friends—mysterious monks, a curious camel, and a snake with a sensitive stomach, just to name a few. Shoba and Fuzzy are on their way to a top-secret monkey wedding. But you shouldn’t expect an invitation. According to Fuzzy, it will be the most boring wedding in the history of the universe. But magical things can happen on the road to Mumbai—and when trouble threatens to ruin the big event, unexpected friends come to the rescue.
In vivid paintings filled with color and light (and more than one uninvited guest!), Ruth Jeyaveeran brings the beauty and excitement of India alive for children everywhere to enjoy.
As a young boy from Tsuwano in western Japan, Mitsumasa Anno always dreamed of faraway places. This picture book of Mitsumasa Anno’s beautiful sketches tell a wonderful story of a journey across the land sharing the diversity of American cultures as seen through the eyes of a talented visiting artist.
Come along for a wonder-filled exploration of fabulous cities, picturesque villages and uniquely various inhabitants. Anno's USA is a true journey of surprise and discovery! A visual masterpiece.A wonderfully playful evocation of our history and culture. -- The New York Times Then and now are illustrated in scenes that tease the memory and will involve grownups with children in the zesty adventures of identifying commemorated events and people. -- Publishers Weekly, boxed review The book is a joyous paean to the homely details and glorious landscapes of our country; as such it rejoices both the mind and the heart. -- The Horn Book Mitsumasa Anno lives in Japan.