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.
What if you lived on a beautiful island before the time that Europeans came to the New World? This book is set in just that time and place.
Morning Girl and her brother, Star Boy, live in a close-knit family and clan on an idyllic island. But they are as different as night and day. Set in Taino culture, the story follows both children as they discover who they are and how they belong to their family and their world.
Michael Dorris; the author, is a member of the Modoc tribe and an exceptional writer as well as a trained anthropologist. His portrayal of life in this early Native American setting is both accurate and unforgettable. This is a beautifully written and memorable book with an interesting historical twist at the end.
Written by Michael Rose Ramirez
There’s a certain magic to hummingbirds that makes them popular in folktales wherever they are found. But how did this unusual bird first come to be?
The hummingbird myth from Taino cultures tells of a beautiful young girl and a brave young man. Unfortunately their parents did not feel they should be friends and so they are separated.
Do they find a way to be together? And how does the hummingbird come into the story? This tale of young love and devotion weaves a magical tale around a beautiful creature and may make you think twice the next time you see hummingbird in real life!
Written and Illustrated By George L. Crespo
If you lived on an island, the sea would probably be an important part of any legend or creation tale. This creation tale; retold and illustrated by George Crespo, was collected over 500 years ago by a Spanish friar who came to the island now known as Puerto Rico.
Author, painter and sculptor; George Crespo, changed a few minor details but kept a powerful story of how the ocean came into being. The story involves a family, a great hunter, a big storm and four boys who could not do as they were told.
How did one giant expanse of land turn into a series of islands in a deep blue sea? You’ll have to check out “How The Sea Began” to get the full story!
I love books that take you to exciting new locations.
Terri Thompson’s new e-book for young kids is a perfect example of how to travel and learn about the world from the comfort of your family’s kitchen table or armchair. In her 25 page e-book, there are lots of fun facts about Alaska and it’s history, plus all the type of topics that really intrigue young learners – dog sled races, Northern lights, glaciers, totem poles, black bears and bald eagles.
I especially love the hands-on crafts and the list of additional resources at the end of the book that point to great places to visit if you want to learn more. The crafts are wonderful ways to bring different aspects of Alaska’s heritage to life and include projects to make “shiny salmon”, moose silhouettes, crayon resist Northern lights and personal totem poles.
This book is highly recommended, especially for young learners and homeschoolers – it’s packed with both learning and fun!
Find out more or purchase this book here:
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:
Sophia is off on an adventure with her family. They’ll be taking an airplane to Costa Rica and exploring the jungle and the rainforest. As you can imagine, her whole family will explore an exciting new world. And, as the story unfolds, we watch to see how certain activities, objects or animals remind Sophia and her little brother of yoga postures they know.
Although yoga is an art form that dates back centuries, it can be practiced by very young children in a way that immediately inspires and delights. This book is a perfect way of sharing yoga poses and practices as well as a love and curiosity for our beautiful, bright planet.
I reviewed the Spanish version of this book and recommend it highly to my readers, especially those with “all abilities kids”. Link for the Spanish language version is below.
Sofia En Una Aventura Por La Selva
Give Your Children the Healthy Benefits of Yoga with this Kids Yoga Stories Adventure Book!
Join Sophia on her jungle adventure! Fly like a toucan, slither like a snake, and flutter like a butterfly as you act out this journey through a Costa Rican jungle. What else might you see?
Kids Yoga Stories introduce you to engaging characters who will get your child laughing, moving, and creating. Reading is good for the mind AND body! The story links several yoga poses in a specific sequence to create a coherent and meaningful story.
This book for ages 3 to 7 is more than a storybook, but it's also a unique experience for children.
Sophia's Jungle Adventure is also available in Spanish, French, Portuguese, Chinese, Italian, Russian, and German. See the author's page for the whole list of yoga stories (including the complementary, Sophia's Jungle Adventure Coloring Book) at www.amazon.com/author/giselleshardlow.
Written by Deborah Hopkinson, Illustrated By James Ransome
What if you were a child during the terrible time period of slavery? How would you endure the hardship and challenges?
This book is a realistic portrayal of a young girl named “Sweet Clara”. At the age of 12, she’s taken from her mother to work on another plantation as a field hand. But her kind “aunt” Rachel has a plan to get her away from that difficult and back-breaking work. She teaches young Clara how to sew.
As a young seamstress in the big house, Clara hears about many things in larger world around her, such as the Underground Railroad and the prospect of freedom in Canada. But how can a young girl without a plan or a map hope to make it to freedom?
Clara finds a way to combine her sewing skills with both courage and patience and the chance to make a break toward freedom appears. Can her quilt guide her and the ones she loves to a place of safety and peace? Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt is an unforgettable story sure to inspire readers of any age or background.
2013 marks the 20th anniversary of Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt!
As a seamstress in the Big House, Clara dreams of a reunion with her Momma, who lives on another plantation--and even of running away to freedom. Then she overhears two slaves talking about the Underground Railroad. In a flash of inspiration, Clara sees how she can use the cloth in her scrap bag to make a map of the land--a freedom quilt--that no master will ever suspect.
One Easter morning, Katy and Carl went on an egg hunt through Grandmom's house. Katy couldn't find anything until she went up to the attic. And there she discovered a very special set of eggs...
Grandmom had painted them when she was a little girl. And now, she hung them from the branches of a tiny tree -- an Egg Tree! So began a very special Easter tradition.
This Caldecott Medal-winning story of a Pennsylvania Dutch Easter will surely inspire children to make Egg Trees of their very own.
Everyone’s heard of a Christmas tree – but what about an Easter egg tree?
In this older story, author/illustrator Katherine Milhous takes you on a trip to Pennsylvania Dutch country. You get to visit with young Katy and Carl as they have their first Easter on their Grandmother’s farm, complete with an egg hunt. But Katy has not been too lucky. In fact, she hasn’t found a single egg and she retreats to the attic where she finds a real treasure – Easter eggs her grandmother had created when she was a little girl!
Katy’s discovery and the special “egg tree” they made is a wonderful story about family and creating meaningful holiday traditions. The designs are inspired by authentic Pennsylvania Dutch motifs and the book ends with an egg tree activity that is fun for homes, libraries and classrooms as a special way to celebrate the Spring.
Old Babushka, known throughout all of Moskva for her beautifully painted eggs, is preparing her eggs for the Easter Festival when she takes in an injured goose. She names the goose Rechenka, and they live happily together until one day when Rechenka accidentally overturns a basket, breaking all of Babushka's lovingly crafted eggs.
But the next morning Babushka has a surprise awaiting her in the basket. She cries: "A miracle!" It is one of many in this charmingly told tale of friendship and caring.
With vibrant illustrations, Patricia Polacco has joyously re-created the flavor of Old Moscow and its festivals. The eggs, stunningly colored and intricately designed, are authentic reproductions of eggs painted in the Ukrainian style. Rechenka's Eggs is a timeless story of classic beauty.
Written And Illustrated By Patricia Polacco
A kindly old woman named Babuska is famous for her special Easter Eggs. Each year she wins first prize for the beautiful creations she has crafted over the long cold months of winter in Russia. But this year may be different. Babuska has rescued a goose with a wounded wing and; by mistake, it’s broken all her marvelously crafted eggs. Can an Easter miracle brighten the life of the little goose and sweet, patient Babuska?
The word “Babuska” in Russian and Polish can mean old woman or grandmother. You’ll love this tale of a special grandmother and how her kindness and faith make for the most heart-warming Easter ever.
Written/Retold by Eric A. Kimmel, Illustrated By Katya Krenina
On a cold, wintery morning, Katrusya and her grandfather discover something alarming. Small birds had been caught in an unexpected snowfall and are in danger of freezing to death. The young girl and her grandfather pick up as many as they can and bring them inside. So does the rest of her family and her entire village. Even the priest from the local church invites the birds to come inside and have a safe refuge from the cold.
The little birds brighten the spirits of all the villagers during an especially long winter until they need to fly away in Spring. Can the villagers let them go? What will come of this simple act of kindness? Perhaps an Easter miracle?
This is a beautiful book about how small actions can create big results and transform even the bleakest situation. Illustrated by Katya Krenina, a native of the Ukraine, this book is charming and uplifting, especially in Spring or before the Easter holidays.
Villagers take in a flock of golden birds nearly frozen by an early snow and are rewarded with beautifully decorated eggs the next spring.
The greedy Leprechaun King has locked away all the luck in Ireland and the whole country has fallen in to despair. Through clever charades, Fiona outwits the Leprechaun King and restores luck to the land.
Luminous illustrations add to the magic and wonder of this original folktale.
Written by Teresa Bateman
Illustrated By Kelly Murphy
What would you do if suddenly all the luck in the world disappeared?
This is an enchanted and enchanting story about the wee folk of Ireland and one clever heroine named Fiona. The book tells the tale of a Leprechaun king who decides to hide all the luck in the world away from the humans. The results are terrible as cows will not give milk, chickens won’t lay eggs and potatoes won’t grow in the fields. And people simply don’t know what to do. All except clever Fiona.
How can a human outwit a Leprechaun king and make things right? Pick up this charming book and find out how a good heart and a clever mind can sometimes change even the more dire situations.
Written By Virginia Kroll
Illustrated By Sally Wern Comport
Although Easter is usually a happy time of year, this year seems like it will be quite a challenge for Anya. Her father has gone off to war and the family has lost their grey goose that lays the eggs they use to make beautiful pysanky – traditional Ukrainian Easter Eggs. Can an Easter miracle save the day?
This book with it’s soft, heart-warming illustrations is a gentle story showing great love between the family members and a deep abiding sense of God’s presence and love. The book also shares background information about the art of Ukrainian pysanky and has several easy crafts for bringing this story alive.
A Ukrainian Celebration of New Life in Christ Children love coloring Easter eggs, and here's a story to explain one of the origins of this tradition. In early nineteenth-century Ukraine, Christians celebrated Easter by exchanging colorful, hand-decorated pysanky eggs---but with Papa away at the war and Mama struggling to make ends meet, Anya's family was too poor to buy eggs to decorate one year. That is, until Anya discovered an abandoned nest of goose eggs and began planning an Easter surprise for her family. But God had an even better surprise in store, and when the eggs unexpectedly began to hatch, Anya learned what the Easter story teaches: spring brings gifts of myriad new beginnings, just as the risen Christ gave the gift of new life to us all. Each Traditions of Faith book features a story of how significant Christian traditions emerged in cultures around the world, with a note about the origin and history of the tradition, and offers ideas and activities each family can adopt as its own.
Don Pedro wants to care the best radish sculpture for the Nigh of the Radishes. One radish won't cooperate. Written in a style reminicent of the Gingerbread Man. Based on the annual festival in Oaxaca, Mexico. Bilingual edition in English and Spanish.
Written by Janice Levy
Have you heard about the Christmas custom in Oaxaca, Mexico called The Night of The Radish (El Noche de Los Rabanos)? As part of the special festivities, people carve large radishes into elaborate scenes – most of which have a Christmas or Nativity theme. And some are amazing works of art.
In this story, one radish decides that she does not want to become part of this festival and runs away. A huge chase ensues and a cast of characters chase the radish in a way that resembles the story of the gingerbread man.
Funny, cute and a nice way to talk about how holiday customs differ from place to place, the Runaway Radish is a great book to add a touch of mirth to the holiday season!
Written by Michelle Edwards, Illustrated By Stacey Schuett
It’s really hard to celebrate a holiday after a loved one has passed away. And this family of a dad and two children miss their mom terribly as Chanukah approaches. Dad wants to come to the rescue and make the special treats – potato latkes – with his kids, but the experience is just not the same.
How does the family come to understand the miracle and beauty of the holiday, despite the sadness? This story weaves a wonderful, sweet, sensitive Chanukah tale.
Suggested Reading Level – Ages 5 – 7
A family prepares to celebrate Chanukah for the first time since Mama died — in this heartfelt, bittersweet tale that will resonate with anyone who has ever faced an empty chair at the holiday table.
Three plates, Selma reminded herself. Just three plates this Chanukah.
For Selma and her little sister, Dora, this is their first Chanukah without Mama. When Papa comes home carrying a big bag of potatoes and all the ingredients for latkes, Selma is worried. Mama always made the Chanukah latkes. Could they make them without her? In Michelle Edwards's poignant story, illustrated with Stacey Schuett's warmly glowing artwork, Selma comes to realize that while Chanukah — and especially latkes — will never be the same without Mama, Selma can still celebrate, and will always remember.
Written by Deborah M. Chocolate, Illustration by Cal Massey
What happens when it’s Kwanzaa time? This book tells the exciting story of this holiday from the perspective of a young boy. Throughout the days of Kwanzaa, this family dresses in special ways, greet relatives and visitors, listen to stories about the family and from Africa and share wonderful activities that bring everyone together in a very meaningful way.
A beautifully written story, this book for young readers shares special moments in a family’s celebration plus the seven principles of Kwanzaa and a history of the holiday that will inspire any reader.
During the last week of December, Kwanzaa is a time to dress up in African clothes and gather together with relatives from all over the country. Grandma brings special things to eat, Grandpa lights the candles, and everyone in the family celebrates their heritage.
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.
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.
Brilliant firecrackers lighting up the night, Diyas twinkling like stars—what a sight! This is Diwali, in all its glory, as told to Klaka, by his Ammaùa magical story. First, the celebration of Prince Rama, his homecoming, and his victory over Ravana, the evil demon king. Next, a story about Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth, who rewards her true devotees with fortune and good health.