Stories link all kids on the planet

Book List

February 06, 2000|By TRICIA ELLER

Books show us what is and what could be, sometimes even what should and what shouldn't be. They are as diverse in their content as we are in our cultures. Reading books about diversity with your children helps make them aware of the world and teaches them that all sorts of people make up not just the planet, but our country, states and neighborhoods -- and that those differences are OK.

The Children's Book Council showcases multicultural children's titles this month to introduce children to "life's experiences in all of its cultural and ethnic richness." The full list is at shoindex.htm. It includes:

* "Carnaval" by George Ancona (ages 6-10) -- Olinda, Brazil, and its people celebrate their traditional festival.

* "Wake Up, World!: A Day in the Life of Children Around the World" by Beatrice Hollyer (ages 4-10) -- Tag along as eight kids from different countries go through their day.

* "The Drums of Noto Hanto" by J. Alison James (ages 4-8) -- A colorful picture book, the story illustrates the history of Japan's yearly seacoast festival.

* "Er-Lang and the Suns: A Tale from China" retold by Tony Guo and Euphine Cheung (ages 5-9)-- A folk tale explains the origin of nighttime.

* "Happy to be Nappy" by Bell Hooks (ages 4-8) -- This poetic read celebrates the loveliness of nappy hair.

* "The Legend of the Hummingbird: A Tale from Puerto Rico" retold by Michael Rose Ramirez (ages 5-9) -- A fable explains why the tiny creature was created.

* "The Little Brown Joy: A Tale from India" retold by Elizabeth Claire (ages 5-9) -- This story gives a valuable lesson of the rewards in helping others.

* "Matzah Ball Soup" by Joan Rothenberg (ages 4-7) -- This book brings readers into the celebration of traditions by one family.

* "Rainbow Joe and Me" by Maria Diaz Strom (ages 3 and up) -- A young girl is taught the wonders of imagination by her blind neighbor.

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