Books and Music

Tuesday, January 26th, 2016

A Diverse Book for Preschoolers in Celebration of Multicultural Children’s Book Day

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CELEBRATING MULTICULTURAL CHILDREN’S BOOK DAY 2016     The mission of this important campaign is to spread the word and raise awareness about the importance of diversity in children’s literature. Our young readers need to see themselves within the pages of a book and experience other cultures, languages, traditions and religions within the pages of a book. The mission is not only to raise awareness for the kid’s books that celebrate diversity, but to get more of these of books into classrooms and libraries.  Read more »

2 Children’s Books about Jamaica

Justice Pon di Road by Aliona Gibson and illustrated by Andy Chou   “Pon di road” is “on the road” in Jamaican. And Justice, the toddler boy, is on the road in Jamaica with his mom, taking us along with him to the beautiful tropical island that Jamaica is!   We are greeted in the local language when we arrive, and the friendly welcome continues as Justice meets Tony, the mango seller, Nigel with his guitar, Miss Jessie at her café, and Brap with his horse.  Read more »

The Sofia Martinez Series: Chapter Books for Early Readers

Today is Multicultural Children's Book Day and what better way to celebrate than with a wonderful series, “Sofia Martinez" from Picture Window Books (a Capstone Imprint), written by Jacqueline Jules and illustrated by Kim Smith.   We read the book “My Family Adventure (Sofia Martinez)" which is part of the series, whose protagonist is a seven-year-old Latina, Sofia.  Read more »

Why We Need to Read Multicultural Children’s Books

  Have you ever tried to find a book with a Latina princess or a black fairy? If I were a child I would surely think fairies are all white. When my little girl was going through a fairy phase, I couldn't find a single book that had a fairy that was non-white. What was more, when it was her sixth birthday party and she wanted a fairy theme, I searched the internet for images of black, Asian and Latina fairies to reflect all the children that would be coming to her party.  Read more »

10 Best Children’s Books for Gifts

Looking for that perfect children's book to give to the special child in your life? Then look no further. Below are our top picks for multicultural children's books by age. If you are going to buy any books at all this holiday season, make it a multicultural one as these books are perfect for kids of all cultural backgrounds and are also the ones that are not well represented at bookstores.  Read more »

11 African-American Children’s Books for Christmas and Kwanzaa

Habari Gani!   While African-Americans practice diverse religions and spiritualities, many will celebrate the joys of Christmas during this holiday season.  One wonderful joy to share includes reading with children.  Although we live in a technology-rich world, to me very little is more endearing and, I hope, enduring, than creating that experience, especially at a time that honors, encourages and promotes hope, charity, forgiveness, and best of all, love.  Read more »

10 Multicultural Children’s Books that Make Adults Cry

Dr. Seuss’ “Oh, The Places You'll Go!!” still gives me the goose bumps every time I read it aloud to my kids. I never underestimate the effect children’s picture books can have on us adults. They can hugely influence our moods and values, like Shel Silverstein’s “The Giving Tree,” Audrey Penn’s “The Kissing Hand,” or Christian Andersen’s “The Little Match Girl.  Read more »

A Book that Celebrates Cross-Cultural Friendship

“My Friend Mei Jing” is a celebration of a beautiful cross-cultural friendship. Mei Jing and Monifa are second graders and best friends. They bond over their common fondness for pets and arts and crafts. They visit each other’s homes often and discover how similar yet different their families’ cultural practices and customs are.     Narrated in the voice of Monifa, whose family is originally from Nigeria, we see how the girls embrace and delight in their differences.  Read more »

My Daughter’s 10 Favorite Multicultural Books

As a white adoptive mother of two Ethiopian children, I’m always on the lookout for good books that show people from all parts of the world.     The beautiful books that follow have become meaningful to our family. Please add your family’s favorite multicultural children’s books in the comments if you’d like.   The Colors of Us by Karen Katz Wonderful book for introducing diversity to young children.  Read more »

3 Beautiful Children’s Books That Take Place in the Himalayas

  Chandra’s Magic Light By Theresa Heine (Author), Judith Gueyfier (Illustrator)   Chandra's Magic Light: A Story in Nepal combines two things I feel passionately about in one: environmental sustainability and exploring other cultures. Two Nepalese girls are shopping in the market one day when they discover a man selling “magic” lights.  Read more »

A Children’s Book for Global Citizens: Everyone Prays

Every time a new children’s book arrives in the mail, particularly when it’s a multicultural children’s book, I get really excited to browse the pages. I usually can’t wait for the kids to get home on my first read, as I am so eager to absorb the words and illustrations. But no matter how much I like a book, it usually takes me months and months to review it because of the serious backlog of awesome books Meera and I have to review.  Read more »

6 Children’s Books to Celebrate Juneteenth

“The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and free laborer." ~ General Order No.  Read more »

A Muslim Children’s Book for Preschool-Age Kids

It’s hard to imagine how a children’s picture book about colors could be the center of controversy. But Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns: A Muslim Book of Colors by Hena Khan (author) and Mehrdokht Amini (illustrator) uncomfortably found itself at the fury of a Marietta, Georgia parent when his daughter purchased the book at a school fair. Furious, the father filed a complaint with the school board about the book’s presence at the school fair, remarking, “That culture there doesn’t seem to have anything good coming out of it.  Read more »

Eco-Friendly Children’s Books for Earth Day

On their website the first thing I see is “Always eco-friendly. Always sustainable.” I linger on, intrigued and excited. A few days later we read their books. Soon, I settle on a book set from “Home Grown Books” to review and celebrate Earth Day this year!   “The Environmental Set” is a small boxed collection of seven square books—small enough for little hands to hold and manipulate, and colorful enough to attract.  Read more »

A Year of Multicultural Picture Books for the Global Child

If you have not been including multicultural books in your reading diet, this is a great beginner’s guide that will last you for the year. The books cover many important and diverse themes like tradition, travel, history, holiday, migration, art and culture. This is a fantastic potpourri of books for children aged three through 12 growing up to be global citizens of tomorrow!   Disclaimer: The following books in this article were sent to us as review copies but the decision to review them was all ours: Baba Didi and the Godwits Fly, A is for Activist, Tari—The Little Balinese Dancer, Irena's Jars of Secrets 14 0 2 1.  Read more »

8 Children’s Books for Black History Month

“History is a clock that people use to tell their political and cultural time of day. It is also a compass that people use to find themselves on the map of human geography.  History tells a people where they have been and what they have been… where they are and what they are. Most important, history tells a people where they still must go…what they still must be.  Read more »

Multicultural Children’s Book: One City, Two Brothers

As a passionate proponent of reading diverse books in raising children to be global citizens, InCultureParent is thrilled to be participating in the first ever Multicultural Children’s Book Day: Celebrating Diversity in Children's Literature. The Multicultural Books section of our website is dedicated to regularly exposing families to an assortment of reading choices for children from diverse backgrounds, age groups, race and gender.  Read more »

Multicultural Children’s Book Day: January 27

January 27 is the first ever Multicultural Children’s Book Day: Celebrating diversity in children’s literature. The event is sponsored by Wisdom Tales Press, Lee & Low Books, Chronicle Books and Susan Daniel Fayad, author of My Grandfather's Masbaha.     Why celebrate multicultural children’s books?   Despite census data that shows 37% of the U.  Read more »

18 Children’s Books to Celebrate Martin Luther King Day

During this Martin Luther King Day, I encourage you to learn both about this brilliant and courageous man, but also about others committed to the struggle for civil rights for all.   Here are 18 children’s books for little ones to teens that will help you and yours celebrate Martin Luther King Day. I’ve included not just books about MLK but others who influenced the Civil Rights Movement as well.  Read more »

12 Days of Multicultural Musical Activities (Part Two)

Here’s part two of our 12 days of multicultural musical activities as a fun way to wrap up 2013, welcome 2104 and prepare for Chinese New Year coming in late January.   Contributed by multicultural children’s performer, DARIA, you can find the day by day list on her monthly song page, or check out highlights from the last six days here.  Read more »

12 Days of Multicultural Musical Activities (Part One)

As a wrap-up for 2013, we asked the talented children's musician and performer DARIA to share some post-holiday activities that families can do together.  Here are 12 different ways you can make the holidays bright by exploring diversity and making music.   Although you can find the day by day list on DARIA’s monthly song page, here are some of the highlights of the first six days.  Read more »

5 Multicultural Picture Books For Younger Children

It is important and enormously enriching for children to read books that encompass diverse cultures, places and languages from the wider world outside of them. And it is never too early to start this habit. But sometimes finding these types of books for very young children can be challenging. Reading early literacy books and other simple stories that are also culturally flavorful is the best approach.  Read more »

4 Comic Books that Will Make Your Kid Love Reading

Comic books and graphic novels are a great way to read with kids. I know that some adults will dismiss them as just pictures, but they tell extremely rich stories that unfold through both visuals and words.   As a parent I was looking for a way to encourage my eight-year-old to read more outside of school assignments and homework. He was hesitant at first, not fully understanding the medium of a graphic novel.  Read more »

Fun African Songs and Rhymes for Your Children

Jaha and Jamil went down the hill To fetch a pail of water. They met Atu and Siwatu And Asha with her daughter.   This is one of the many rhymes you can find in the African Mother Goose book titled Jaha and Jamil Went Down the Hill: An African Mother Goose by Virginia Kroll and Katherine Roundtree. This beautifully illustrated book contains 48 rhymes that Mother Goose might have written had she visited Africa.  Read more »

A Multicultural Children’s Book about Anger

Anh's Anger by Gail Silver (author) and Christane Krömer (illustrator)   Anh’s Anger is a book that tackles the subject of children’s anger set within an engaging story. The book skillfully teaches children how to deal with their anger by simply embracing it.   When Anh gets angry that he can’t finish building his clocks before dinner and has a fit, his grandfather tells him, “Please go to your room and sit with your anger.  Read more »

9 Children’s Books for Hispanic Heritage Month

It's time for a fiesta! Head to your local library or over to your favorite bookstore to explore some children's books celebrating Latino culture and heritage. Here are our book recommendations for ages infant through eight+ for Hispanic Heritage month.   Age: 0+   Fiesta Babies by Carmen Tafolla and Illustrated by Amy C’ordova In this fun and colorful book for babies and toddlers, children are out on the town—parading, dancing and singing with a mariachi band.  Read more »

A Multicultural Children’s Book Set in India: Bye, Bye, Motabhai!

Bye, Bye, Motabhai! By Kala Sambasivan Ages: 5-8 years   His name is a mouthful, particularly for a camel. But Pavan, meaning wind, is his truncated name.  It suits him well because he can run fast.  So fast, that he aspires to be a racing camel someday, probably in faraway Dubai. But his immediate ambition though is to run away from his demanding owner, Motabhai, a vegetable vendor who burdens him beyond his mettle every day.  Read more »

Travel to Mexico City with 5 Children’s Books

We were intrigued when our three-year-old son's favorite country was Mexico (and that was two years ago!). Then jalapeno became his favorite word for a while. And recently we noticed his more concrete desire to learn and speak the Spanish language. We realized that he is fascinated by Mexico—the culture, the country and the language—so "traveling" to Mexico with this set of books made both of us very happy!   Off We Go to Mexico by Laurie Krebs   There is something about the colors, the warmth and how they combine and contrast.  Read more »

Travel to Beijing with 5 Children’s Books

So far in our summer travel series, we have journeyed to Paris then Mumbai and now Beijing. Here are five books to introduce your little one to China whether to prep for an upcoming trip or explore the world from your own home.   Daisy Comes Home by Jan Brett This heart-warming tale was concocted during the author’s trip to China as she sailed down the Li River in the Guang Xi Province dotted with busy markets in small villages alongside lofty mountains.  Read more »

Travel to Mumbai, India with 5 Children’s Books

Intrigued when you hear India? Excited about a trip ahead? Find out about the colors, chaos and everything else that’s India through these books that are as whimsical and exotic as the country itself.     Excuse Me, Is This India? by Anita Leutiwiler and Anushka Ravishankar A mouse peeping out of an auto-rickshaw is the image on the cover.  Read more »

6 Favorite Children’s Books about Ramadan

We have read many books about Ramadan in our home, but these are our top six favorites.     1. A Party in Ramadan by Asma Mobin-Uddin is the perfect Ramadan book for Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Centered around a Muslim child invited to a non-Muslim child’s pony party during Ramadan, the book adeptly bridges both worlds through a mix of Muslim and non-Muslim characters, while explaining some of the excitement and rituals around Ramadan.  Read more »

Travel to Paris with 5 Children’s Books

If you’ve already exhausted the Babars, Fancy Nancys and Madelines, here are a few more to take your kids to Paris whether you have your tickets booked or not. Even without any travel plans, books are one of the best ways to travel to new cities without spending a cent.     Everybody Bonjours! by Leslie Kimmelman         What’s not to love about a girl going around the city seeing everyone greet each other? And isn’t the title charming enough to get young children excited about Paris? The illustrations cover all important landmarks and simple text points to different places and people who Bonjour.  Read more »

Japanese Celebrations: A Children’s Book

Japanese Celebrations: Cherry Blossoms, Lanterns, and Stars! by Betty Reynolds   Japanese Celebrations: Cherry Blossoms, Lanterns and Stars! is a fun and educational book for children about the customs of Japan. It is full of colorful pictures with a playful quality depicting the practices of various Japanese holidays throughout the seasons.  Read more »

Learning about Samoa Through Music

Talofa! You just said 'hi' in the beautiful language of the Samoan people. I learned my first Samoan song about a month ago and since then I have been fascinated with the music, language and culture.   Samoa is one of the many islands sprinkled in the South Pacific Ocean. Samoa has a very rich and old history and despite centuries of European influence, it still maintains its historical customs, social and political systems, and language.  Read more »

3 Fun Global Kids’ Games to Music

Have you ever played a passing game as a child? Even if you don’t remember, chances are you did! Passing games are present in almost all cultures. These games are usually accompanied by a melody and involve passing a ball, a stone, a stick, a button or any found object. Participating in a passing game allows children of all ages to have fun and learn a game from a different culture while practicing skills such as tracking, coordination, singing, steady beat and concentration.  Read more »

Best Asian-American Children’s Books

May is Asian-Pacific American heritage month. It is the perfect time to showcase some of the truly amazing authors in Asian-American children’s literature, who have consistently produced works that bridge cultures.   The reading list includes authors and books that highlight Asian heritage through great stories. This kind of literary exposure can be very enriching as it helps children develop a deeper understanding of cultures and hence an appreciation for the diverse communities in which we live.  Read more »

A Children’s Story Set in India: Bijoy and the Big River

Bijoy and the Big River By Meera Sriram and Praba Ram   What’s it like to grow up on a river that serves as your family and community’s livelihood? That’s the setting of this story that follows a day in the life of a young boy, Bijoy, growing up in Northeast India along the Burha Luit river.   Bijoy loves to swim in the river and spot xihu, an endangered species of dolphin, which is generally blind.  Read more »

Learn Latin American Children’s Music Through Chocolate

Have you ever heard of a molinillo? A molinillo is a traditional Mexican wood whisk.   courtesy: Scott Phillips   It is primarily used in the preparation of hot beverages, like hot chocolate. The molinillo is held between the palms and rotated by rubbing the palms together, the rotation creates the froth in the drink.   courtesy: chroniclebooks   You might ask now what does a molinillo have to do with music.  Read more »

Five Great Children’s Books for Easter

THE EASTER EGG FARM written and illustrated by Mary Jane Auch   Both charming and funny, this is our most favorite book this spring. Pauline is “different” because she is the only hen that never lays an egg for Mrs.Pennywort, probably because she isn’t concentrating enough. But when she finally does, concentrating hard on random things, she begins to lay the most “interesting” eggs.  Read more »

Happy Birthday Ezra Jack Keats!

“Then began an experience that turned my life around — working on a book with a black kid as hero. None of the manuscripts I'd been illustrating featured any black kids — except for token blacks in the background. My book would have him there simply because he should have been there all along.” ~ Erza Jack Keats.     We love him just for that, for his creation of Peter, the black protagonist.  Read more »

Tibetan Singing Bowls and Hidden Kitchen Instruments for Kids

It was love at first "ring"! I can still remember the first time I ever heard the beautiful sound of a Tibetan Singing Bowl. I had never seen or heard of one before and the tone that it produced was immediately calming and intriguing. I was fascinated that a bowl could produce such an amazing sound and so magically!   Singing bowls are often referred to as Tibetan or Himalayan Singing Bowls and their origin can be traced back to the 10th-12th century AD to countries such as Nepal, Tibet, India, China and Japan.  Read more »

A Multicultural Book for Mixed Race Kids

Review of I am Flippish By Leslie V. Ryan; illustrated by Adolph Soliz   “Why don’t I look like you?” is a question every parent, especially mixed families, must have encountered (or will encounter) at some point in time. “I am Flippish,” a story set in a very practical context, addresses this for all of us.   The author, Leslie Ryan, sent me a copy of this book.  Read more »

The Story of the Chinese Zodiac

“Many moons ago,” the story begins, “the people of China had no calendar.” So the Jade Emperor set out to rectify that. He created a calendar based on animals, giving each year a different animal. But he wasn’t sure which order the animals should come in, so he held a race for the animals to cross a wide river. As the legend of the Chinese zodiac unfolds in the pages of The Great Race: The Story of the Chinese Zodiac by Dawn Casey (author) and Anne Wilson (illustrator), we learn how each year became a different animal.  Read more »

Japanese Music and Dance for Children

Every year at the San Francisco Asian Art Museum families are invited to “ring” in the New Year Japanese style, by participating in the auspicious Japanese tradition of striking a temple bell. According to Japanese custom, striking the bell symbolically welcomes the New Year. It is hoped that with each reverberation, the bad experiences and ill luck of the past will be wiped away, giving space to a joyous and fresh New Year.  Read more »

Favorite Multicultural Children’s Books of 2012 – Old and New

Another year passes by. Weekly trips to the library, gifts and several visits to our local used bookstores...books flowed in from everywhere. Huddling up for a read-aloud still seems to be the most favorite thing to do in our family. I sometimes think I should keep track of every book we read together. But that would almost be impossible.  I usually end up reviewing the ones that make an immediate impact or the ones we keep going back to.  Read more »

Hurray for Three Kings Day: Book Review

Hurray for Three Kings’ Day by Lori Marie Carlson (author) and Ed Martinez (illustrator) tells the story of the Three Kings tradition through the eyes of little sister Anita, Tito and Tomás. Although we read this book in English, it is also available in Spanish. In the introductory note, the author explains that she has combined different Latino Three Kings traditions to make the book appeal to various groups that celebrate the holiday.  Read more »

Teaching a Language to Children Through Music

Did you know that music can be beneficial to language learners because it stimulates parts of the brain conductive to learning a foreign language?   I recently began researching data that supported my personal belief that music is the perfect  vehicle for learning a foreign language, and I stumbled upon a book called “Language is Music” by Susanna Zaraysky.  Read more »

7 Perfect Children’s Books for Native American Heritage Month

November is Native American Heritage month.  In our family, our eight-year-old daughter has developed a deep fascination for the culture, primarily through books.  Besides the several stories of Squanto and Sacagawea we’ve read together, the books based on “Kaya” of the American Girl series helped sustain her adoration. She is currently reading Scott O’Dell’s “Sing Down the Moon” and I am curious to hear what she thinks of it.  Read more »

Why African Music is Perfect for Young Children

Jambo, jambo! Jambo sana jambo! These are the first words to one of my favorite Swahili welcome songs. As an early childhood music and movement specialist, I like to start each school year by exploring music and dance from the continent of Africa.   In Africa, music is deeply integrated into daily activities, it is used to convey news, to teach, to tell stories, for religious purposes and a lot more.  Read more »

Children’s Books that Travel to Africa

  A passport to the second-largest and second-most-populous continent, these picture books will transport children to the landscapes and lifestyles of Africa through enjoyable stories and delightful art.     Catch That Goat! By Polly Alakija Ages: 3+   Catch That Goat! takes us to a vibrant street market in Nigeria where little Ayoka is fretting about the family goat that has just absconded from her care  Read more »

Why Multicultural Music is Important for Children

Nine years ago I made the long journey from Italy to California to chase what many call the “American Dream.” I left my family behind, my culture, my language and pursued my dream of one day becoming a music teacher. As the years went by, I experienced first hand the feeling of isolation from my culture trying to blend in and slowly loosing my heritage.  Read more »

5 Board Games from Around the World

Growing up in India, we played a lot of board games in our family. The tradition is now carried over and my kids are very excited on game nights. Lately, I’ve been curious about the origin and cultural orientation of board games. And how, with the fundamentals intact, the games have evolved over time and crossed borders and cultures. Here is a list of games and related facts that truly fascinate me.  Read more »

7 Favorite Children’s Books on Going to School Around the World

Every summer my kids and I spend at least six weeks in Chennai, a metropolis in Southern India where I was born and raised.  Even though the chaos and noise of a hot, crowded city has grown on them over the years, there are certain things that continue to fascinate them. For instance, I’ve noticed how they stand on the verandah and catch the action on the street with undivided attention every morning.  Read more »

The Secrets of Writing a Multicultural Children’s Book

So you want to write a multicultural children’s book. You know you have a great story to tell but how do you know if it really works for kids? What makes for a great story? Is there a market for it? What do publishers look for? To answer all these questions and a bunch more, we interviewed Tessa Strickland, Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of one of the leading publishers of multicultural books, Barefoot Books.  Read more »

Ten Reasons Parents Should Read Multicultural Books to Kids

I was in the children’s section of a big, chain bookstore last week. I ambled around browsing picture book covers and flipping through the ones that were colorful or artistic. At first, I didn’t notice anything strange—there were many books on vehicles and animals; there were the seasonal ones (spring and summer themed books) and the timeless classics like “Goodnight Moon” and “Where the Wild Things Are.  Read more »

A Multicultural Children’s Book Where Less is More

“The Chalk Doll” by Charlotte Pomerantz and pictures by Frané Lessac Ages: 4+ Don’t we all love talking to our kids about our past, beginning a story with “When I was your age, there was no…” or “In those days, we did not…?”  Often, reminiscing is very gratifying. Sometimes I even win the sympathy and admiration of my kids, considering our starkly contrasting childhoods.  Read more »

Do you want to see more multicultural books at Barnes & Noble?

Meera and I got talking after she wrote her fantastic article 10 Reasons Parents Should Read Multicultural Books to Kids. We felt we had a responsibility to let Barnes & Noble know how we felt about their children’s book selection, particularly that multicultural titles are so poorly represented. So we put together this letter and sent it to them.  Read more »

Open Letter to Barnes & Noble

Dear Barnes & Noble,   We love the diverse selection of books you offer and how much fun our children have browsing through books and games every time we come in to your store. We frequently purchase books for presents on our way to a birthday party but we always notice something is missing when we browse the children’s section: more multicultural children’s literature.  Read more »

An Adoption Story for Kids: Goyangi Means Cat

Goyangi Means Cat By Christine McDonnell; Illustrated by Steve Johnson & Lou Fancher Ages: 4+ It is Soo Min’s first week in America. She is trying to adjust to a new country, a different culture and a new set of parents.  Soo Min only speaks Korean; English is still foreign to her.  She survives the first few days with the limited Korean her Omah (Mom) and Apah (Dad) know.  Read more »

A Swahili Alphabet Book

Jambo Means Hello: Swahili Alphabet Book By Muriel Feelings (author) and Tom Feelings (illustrator) Ages: 3 and Up With no Q and X sounds, there are only 24 letters in the Swahili alphabet (unlike the English language). And 45 million people speak it. These facts in the author’s introductory note get my kids excited almost immediately. However, I keep returning to the image of the African girl on the front cover with a big smile and wide open arms towards the sky.  Read more »

Best Asian-American Children’s Books

May is Asian-Pacific American heritage month. It is the perfect time to showcase some of the truly amazing authors in Asian-American children’s literature, who have consistently produced works that bridge cultures.   The reading list includes authors and books that highlight Asian heritage through great stories.  This kind of literary exposure can be very enriching as it helps children develop a deeper understanding of cultures and hence an appreciation for the diverse communities in which we live.  Read more »

Multicultural Book Review: I Have an Olive Tree

By Eve Bunting; Illustrated by Karen Barbour Ages:  4+   Sophia’s grandfather “gifts” her with an olive tree on her seventh birthday. But the tree is on a small island in Greece where Sophia’s mother was born.  A year later, her dying grandfather also entrusts her with her grandmother’s beads, urging her to hang them on her olive tree.  Read more »

A Multicultural Easter Story: Chicken Sunday

“Chicken Sunday” by Patricia Polacco Ages: 4+ Author-artist, Patricia Polacco’s books are among the best loved ones in our home. We read and re-read her stories with unabated interest.  “Chicken Sunday” is our most recent favorite. And pysanky (Ukrainian Easter eggs), featured in the story and showcased beautifully in Polacco’s artwork, make it a great read for Easter.  Read more »

A Multicultural Feast: 7 Fun Children’s Books on Food

Foods embody cultures. And food-themed books are a great way to sample and savor cultures.  Here are seven wonderful picks from around the world that we’ve enjoyed in our family.     PINO AND THE SIGNORA’S PASTA by Janet Pedersen Ages: 4-8 Set in the bustling streets of Rome, the story starts off with a feline bunch waiting to lap up some pasta that Signora lovingly serves every day  Read more »

Review: The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

Inventor William Kamkwamba and journalist Bryan Mealer collaborate with illustrator Elizabeth Zunon to masterfully share with the young reader the story of William’s life in drought-ravaged Malawi and the ingenuity that inspired him to build a windmill—the windmill that came to illuminate his life and the lives of those around him.   William was forced to drop out of school after a severe drought and famine struck Malawi.  Read more »

Children’s Books: 7 Global Favorites

One of the first things I found myself unconsciously doing when reading aloud to my kids was changing the word “Daddy” in stories to “Baba.” My kids, before preschool, had no clue what a “Daddy” was. Beyond the usual Goodnight Moon and other American classics, I gravitated toward more multicultural books to show my kids my own love of the world (and perhaps subconsciously to see if I could find any "Babas" in books!).  Read more »

Travel the Globe with the World Atlas

Barefoot Books’ newly released World Atlas for children, written by Nick Crane and illustrated by David Dean, is one of those books that will grow with your child over time. It is stuffed with factoids and information about our planet, with colorful illustrations that will continue to entice children to explore its pages. Did you know that dates have been around for so long that no one knows what region the palm tree is native to; or that polar bears are the largest predator on earth, weighing up to 1,499 pounds?   The Atlas aims to present a snapshot of our planet today and how people in different parts of the world interact with it.  Read more »

Preparing for the Day of the Dead

In Day of the Dead by Tony Johnston (author) and Jeannette Winter (illustrator), two children in Mexico wake up one morning to the sound of mama slapping empanada dough in the kitchen. Thus begins a day full of festive preparations for the Dia de los Muertos. In the orchard, uncles gather oranges and tejocotes (a fruit local to Mexico). Aunties spend the afternoon stirring a mole sauce of chocolate and chile over the stove.  Read more »

Sadie’s Sukkah Breakfast

Review: Sadie's Sukkah Breakfast by Jamie S. Korngold (Author), Julie Fortenberry (Illustrator)   Sadie smiled as she reached for her glasses and looked over at her little sister, Ori, as she snuggled up in her bed with her teddy bear. It was very early in the morning, too early for little children to be up and about, but it was a very special day.  Read more »

Celebrating the Jewish Sabbath in Ethiopia

A Day of Delight: A Jewish Sabbath in Ethiopia by Maxine Rose Schur and illustrated by Brian Pinkney shows the way of life of an Ethiopian Jewish community.   The book opens with a mother cooking breakfast of injera and coffee for her family inside their village hut. We follow the eldest son, Menelik, as he goes about his workday as a blacksmith with his father, crafting sickles used to cut down teff grass, which they will sell.  Read more »

Children’s Book Review: A Party in Ramadan

A Party in Ramadan by Asma Mobin-Uddin and illustrated by Laura Jacobsen, is the perfect Ramadan book for Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Centered around a child’s pony party during Ramadan, the book adeptly bridges both worlds through a mix of Muslim and non-Muslim characters.   Young Leena is not yet expected to fast during Ramadan, but she has chosen to in order to partake in the celebration with her family, especially her Auntie Sana who is coming over for iftar dinner on the first night.  Read more »

Stories from the Peruvian Andes

A little boy, Kusikiy, on the island of Taquile in Lake Titicaca Peru has a concern. “I am worried the birds are not singing and the trees are sad” because it has not rained. The rainy season starts when the Llama Constellation travels above Taquile Island so Kusikiy endeavors to find a way to help the Llama Constellation find its way back to Taquile’s sky.  Read more »

Favorite Swedish Stories: Emil in the Soup Tureen

Emil in the Soup Tureen is a story by Swedish author Astrid Lindgren, who is best-known for the classic children's tale Pippi Longstocking. The story paints a quaint and idyllic picture of farm life in rural 20th century Sweden, in the village of Lönneberga, Småland, complete with charming pen and ink illustrations of Emil's misadventures as well as the family farm, called Katthult.  Read more »

Hungry for Some Korean Bee-Bim Bop

When we started investigating a Korean-themed book to cover in May, the suggestion that came up over and over from many Korean-Americans and others was Bee-Bim Bop, by author Linda Sue Park and illustrator Ho Baek Lee, so we took heed. Bee-Bim Bop is an adorable, sing-songy book about cooking this favorite (at least one of my favorite) Korean dishes, bee-bim bop, which means mixed-up rice in Korean  Read more »

A Lion’s Mane: Story of the Sikh Turban

How often did the covers of the books you read as a child have children who looked like you? Did these children's books offer you a sense of belonging or importance? As our children enter into such a global community, it is clear that having access to authentic literature representing their heritage can only help ease the numerous challenges of peer pressure and elevate self-esteem.  Read more »

Out of the Way! Out of the Way!

Editor's Note: I set out this month to find a book on Holi to review and found what seemed to be a great one: Holi by prolific writer Uma Krishnaswami. The only problem with this book was getting my hands on it as I wasn't able to find a copy at my local library. In my search for the book, I was introduced to many other books by the same author who is inspired by her Indian heritage in her writing.  Read more »

InCultureParent’s Essential Chinese New Year Reading List

Cat and Rat: The Legend of the Chinese Zodiac By Ed Young (author and illustrator) Review by Frances Kai-Hwa Wang Beautifully written retelling of the story about how the 12 animals of the zodiac were chosen and why the cat and the rat are no longer friends. It really portrays the personalities of the cat, rat, ox, and other animals and ties their personality to how they run their race.  Read more »

Japanese Children’s Favorite Stories

Japanese Children's Favorite Stories By: Florence Sakade and Yoshisuke Kurosaki Review By: The Editors   First printed the early 1950's, this is the third edition of the book. It contains ten classic Japanese fairy tales from the original printing together with ten newer stories. The stories are full of fantasy and provide a window into another culture without needing experience in the culture for children to appreciate them.  Read more »

The Eight Essential Hanukkah Books

Having taught Sunday school briefly, I understand the challenge of bringing holidays into an understandable form for children. On top of that, there is definitely a smaller selection for Chanukah than what's offered for Christmas. We may be Chosen but we can't be choosy. I can't imagine what the folks who celebrate Diwali have to choose from. I was concerned there might not even be enough Chanukah books up to snuff since we can't even agree on the spelling.  Read more »

Science Meets Religion in Menorah Under the Sea

Menorah Under the Sea By: Esther Susan Heller Reviewed By: Deb Fowler   David Ginsburg is a marine biologist who headed to Antarctica to study marine life at the bottom of the "frigid ocean." It was a long, grueling fourteen hour flight from Los Angeles to McMurdo Station, an American research center at the "bottom of the world." It's a very desolate, dangerous area that people reside in or visit for short periods of time.  Read more »

Bringing Diwali to Life for Children

Diwali: A Festival of Lights and Fun (Diwali: Kushiyon Ka Tyohaar) By Manisha Kumar & Monica Kumar (Authors), Sona & Jacob (Illustrators) Reviewed by Meera Sriram   (Reprinted with permission from Saffrontree.org)   This bilingual book on Diwali is from Meera Masi, a Bay Area based cross-cultural publishing house with a mission to pass on the heritage of India to immigrant children, through books and other products on Indian languages and culture.  Read more »
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Why I Travel 13 Hours Alone with My Kids Every Chance I Get

Travelling with children, while definitely more of a mission, contradicts the old saying that “life is about the journey, not the destination.”

A Diverse Book for Preschoolers in Celebration of Multicultural Children's Book Day

A book that honestly and simply celebrates the every day diversity that children experience.

Why My African Feminist Mother Gave Me the Identity of My Father's Tribe

She gave me an identity so different from her own.

2 Children’s Books about Jamaica

Explore Jamaica with your child.

Costa Rica with Kids: Two Weeks of Family Travel

Two weeks of Pura Vida in a country with so much to offer families.

Should I Worry about My Child's Accent in Her Foreign Language?

See why Dr. Gupta takes offense to this question and where children learn accents from

How to raise trilingual kids when exposure to Dad's language is limited

My kids only get 1-2 hours of the minority language per day-help!

What Cultural Norms Around Bare Feet Taught This Mother in Guatemala

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Why We Need to Read Multicultural Children's Books

Children need to see the world around them reflected in books.

How My Two Year Old is Teaching Me Thai

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10 Things You Should Know Before Adopting a Child

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10 Best Children's Books for Gifts

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Will Three Languages Confuse a Young Child?

My wife thinks three languages will confuse our child. Is she right?

11 African-American Children’s Books for Christmas and Kwanzaa

Try a few of these from this fantastic selection of African-American holiday books

What I Can Do as a White Mom After Darren Wilson’s Acquittal

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10 Multicultural Children’s Books that Make Adults Cry

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Why This Mom Banned the Word ‘Weird’ From Her Kids' Vocabulary

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French versus Italian Parenting in One Multicultural Family

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The Cultural Battleground of Sleepovers

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Are Parents Too Overprotective in the West and Too Lax in the East?

Would you pick up a stranger's child or is that invasive?

Does Religion Matter? Juggling Two Faiths in One Family

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Amazing Portraits of Biracial Kids

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Dear White Officer, Please Don't Shoot

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A Book that Celebrates Cross-Cultural Friendship

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My Daughter’s 10 Favorite Multicultural Books

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I was Diagnosed with Cancer at Age 37 while Abroad with Kids

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Huge Giveaway for Eid: Tea Collection, Little Passports, Little Pim, Dolls, Books, Music & More

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Healthy smoothies for summer your kids will like.

3 Beautiful Children’s Books That Take Place in the Himalayas

Beautiful children's stories from Nepal to Tibet

Why African Toddlers Don't Have Tantrums

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How I Made My Forgotten Native Language My Child’s Strongest

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Help Us Giveaway a Soccer Ball to Kids in Ethiopia!

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Tanabata Festival: July 7

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A Children's Book for Global Citizens: Everyone Prays

A celebration of faith around the world through simple text and rich illustrations.

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What would you do? Your child won a place in the lottery, only problem is it's the wrong year!

After Her Husband’s Tragic Death, She Embraced a Religion and Culture Not Her Own

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Hi Kim! I am so glad that this article was useful for you and made you feel validated as a parent. It's not often in this judgmental world of parenting we get that, right?! That's the main reason...
From The West’s Strange Relationship to Babies and Sleep
I love reading your work. I can olny imagine what it would be like to have such beautiful customs and true community. I understand why it is so very very important to keep these traditions alive. Be...
From No Kids Allowed: How Kenyan Weddings are Changing
Your mother in-law seems somewhat reasonable. Many Chinese Mother In-laws are not. In their scenario, they would be number 1 to the child and you would be number two. Many want to have a bond closer...
From How My Chinese Mother-in-Law Replaced my Husband
I think Konstantina is actually responding to what is probably more familiar/praised/or preferred socially as well. I was an English teacher in Poland with a distinct accent. I struggled to get Engl...
From Should I Worry about My Child’s Accent in Her Foreign Language?
Noor Kids' title "First Time Fasting" is another great rea...
From 6 Favorite Children’s Books about Ramadan
This article was shared in a community I run to connect globetrotting parents and everyone LOVED it. You should join us! We all relate to your experience. Many of us, including me, are in the same b...
From Why I Travel 13 Hours Alone with My Kids Every Chance I Get
Please help: I Love my wife and my son. I am also EXTREMELY involved as a dad. I had to move to china ( in a tiny tiny town) where I am the only foreigner so that my wife can take over the family bu...
From How My Chinese Mother-in-Law Replaced my Husband
Thanks for writing this!! My baby is 7 months, and I love having her sleep in my room. I don't mention it too often to people who have had kids because they seem a little judgy on it. So tonight I...
From The West’s Strange Relationship to Babies and Sleep
Honestly, it looks like the author married into a very backward and old fashioned family. Not stimulating children's curiosity, differences between boys and girls, and women slaving in the house, wh...
From French versus Italian Parenting in One Multicultural Family
[…] B. Breasts are for Babies? Perceptions of Breastfeeding in Italy. In Culture Parent June […...
From Breasts are for Babies? Perceptions of Breastfeeding in Italy
[…] that “beatings” are not actually spankings. There may be some truth to this because African tribal culture does not support “spanking”. This is confirmed by my own observation in S...
From African Parenting: The Sane Way to Raise Children
[…] Pomlazka, a special handmade whipping stick, is an Easter tradition in the Czech Republic. Made out of pussywillow tigs, pomlazka is braided and then used by the village boys/men to “...
From What’s Easter without a Whipping?
Hi Hajar! I have 3 (almost 4, 10 weeks to go), we sleep on a king mattress with a single beside it, generally I sleep with the 3 on the King and my husband is on the single! (Babies are 6,4 and 1). ...
From The West’s Strange Relationship to Babies and Sleep
Dear Arabic Dad, I disagree with Dr. Gupta's advice to drop Arabic if your children reject it. If you show your children that you are willing to speak English with them, they will not make the effor...
From How to raise trilingual kids when exposure to Dad’s language is limited
How to teach our children, daughters in particular, how to live not as a victim in a world where they are victims? Sigh.... we so much want them to live in the santa clause and tooth faery and ideal...
From What I Can Do as a White Mom After Darren Wilson’s Acquittal
What a wonderful review! If you're interested, we'd love for you to link up this post (or any other that features diverse kid lit) with the Diverse Children's Books Link-up! You can find it at ...
From 2 Children’s Books about Jamaica
This is exactly what I wanted to teach my students. They are learning about traditional games from around the world and I found this wonderful website to get full of useful information! It helped me...
From Five Fun Games from Around the World
Hi there! Once you baby gets past the 3 month mark, it sounds like you still should wear or carry them?! Do you just not bundle them up as much or how do you wear them? Do you have any pictures :) m...
From Why African Babies Don’t Cry
Hi! I am wondering when you breastfeed your baby that long.. 4 years or so.. Do you ever introduce solids to them? Or so they just drink breast milk until age ...
From Breastfeeding in the Land of Genghis Khan
[…] http://www.incultureparent.com/2011/12/how-to-raise-confident-asian-pacific-american-daughters/ […...
From How to Raise Strong and Confident Asian Pacific American Daughters
This is a great collection of ideas for Chinese culture projects from some of my favorite bloggers! Thank...
From 18 Ways to Celebrate the Lunar New Year with Crafts, Food and Children’s Books
I wonder also that if your wife's native language (or at least one of the native languages) is Urdu, as she talks Urdu with her own mother, why doesn't she speak Urdu to your children? If you live i...
From How to raise trilingual kids when exposure to Dad’s language is limited
I do call it latvian flashmob: just "break the door" and Come with my family to celebrate somebodys nameday. You Will never know how many guests Will be there....
From The Coolest Latvian Celebration You Probably Haven’t Heard of
I think spanking is the tool of the lazy parent. If you have to spank a child up to adulthood, then it is obviously not an effective form of disipline. Also, call me paranoid, but it seems like all...
From Are French Kids Better Behaved Because They are Spanked?
[…] Muslims fast for 30 days every year for Ramadan, which is one of the five pillars of Islam. Ramadan this year is happening during most of the month […...
From Ramadan: June 28-July 28
[…] What Makes Berkeley School so Great  from Stephanie from InCultureParent […...
From A California Public School Snapshot: What Makes Berkeley so Great?
Both of my parents are white (with roots in Ireland and England). My mother's side is very kissy-huggy, and I remember greeting both my maternal grandmother and grandfather with kisses on the cheek ...
From Cross-Cultural Parenting in Japan: Differences in Affection
[…] are so many incredible reasons to read diverse biographies; they can be summed up best in In Culture Parent magazine found digitally. The authors provided multiple valuable reasons but t...
From Ten Reasons Parents Should Read Multicultural Books to Kids
So glad to see all this and looking forward to doing it with our first come Sept, God willing. I am curious though, I see all these cosleeping articles and comments but have yet to find anyone expla...
From The African Guide to Co-sleeping
Hi all! American married to Egyptian and we are expecting our first in Sept, God willing. After speaking with many girls in the Arabic community as well as ladies married to Arabic men, most seem to...
From The West’s Strange Relationship to Babies and Sleep
This article and some of the ensuing comments was familiar yet frustrating. I have a mother-in-law who takes up a lot of space and has made efforts to run things, but this is not her culture - this ...
From How I Reclaimed My House from My Mother-in-Law
I'm Chris, a reading teacher and father of 4 amazing kids. Forget about everything you've read and heard about how and when your child should learn to read - most of the information out there is irr...
From How Should We Teach Reading to a Bilingual Child?
Hi Mira, Love your list. I would add the following titles: - Grandfather Gandhi, by Arun Gandhi and Bethany Hegedus - The Last Kappa of Old Japan, by Sunny Seiki - Fly Free, by Roseanne Thong -...
From Best Asian-American Children’s Books
I stumbled across this blog today while looking for resources for my, hopefully, multilingual baby. It was exactly what I needed to hear. Thank you so much for capturing what I am currently feelin...
From 10 Things Not to Say to Parents of Multilingual Children
Thanks for this lovely post! I agree completely -- all our kids need to see themselves reflected in literature so that they know that their stories matter too. I'd love it if you checked out my bo...
From Why We Need to Read Multicultural Children’s Books
[…] unity and eating them brings good luck. I don’t have my recipe, but I found a few good ones here, here and […...
From Chinese New Year Recipe: Yuanxiao (sweet rice balls)
[…] Breastfeeding in the Land of Genghis Khan | InCulture Parent […...
From Breastfeeding in the Land of Genghis Khan
Thank you for your post! I am also working through raising my child with a sense of religious community and ritual without strictly adhering to certain interpretations of religious faith. (And also ...
From Does Religion Matter? Juggling Two Faiths in One Family
I don't understand. I always thought that discipline was a major part of far East culture. (no racism intended of course). So I'm a little confused. Were the examples mentioned in the article consid...
From Cross-Cultural Differences in Discipline in Japan