Multicultural Stories & Poem Book Round-Up

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of these books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Since Hazel was young she always enjoys a story from another country. She loves learning about other cultures and learning words in other languages and so much more. Today I am sharing a round-Up of books from various cultures to learn more about them. Let's start with a book of stories from India. It is Mangoes, Mischief, and Tales of Friendship by Chitra Soundar and illustrated by Uma Krishnaswamy. 

This book is split into two parts and each part has chapters which build off each other. It is a story of a prince becoming a ruler and helping solve his subjects' problems. The stories are fun and the chapters make it easy to read a story and then continue it another day. Perfect for reading to a class or bedtime. The stories are entertaining and have lessons in them. Plus it is always wonderful to hear about a culture besides your own.  There are black and white photos scattered through the book, but the words are more what the book is about and the words will entertain children of different ages as well as adults. 

Our next book combines Japanese haiku with English translations and artwork. The haiku are by famous Japanese poets. Each poem has questions asking the reader to explore the words and picture and relate them together and to him or herself. The book is My First Book of Haiku Poems: A Picture, a Poem and a Dream translated by Esperanza Ramirez-Christensen and illustrated by Tracy Gallup. 

At the end of the book there is a biography for each of the poets as well as a note to parents and teachers from the translator as well as a word from the artist. I love how this book combines the words of the haiku with the picture from the artist. 

This beautiful book has twelve Japanese stories in English and Japanese. The pages also have illustrations. The stories are fun looks into the Japanese cultlure and what their stories are. It includes The Peach Boy and The One-Inch Boy which you may have heard previously. This is the type of book Hazel treasures and loves to read and reread. She always gets so excited when I receive one to review and this one does not disappoint. 
I love seeing the two languages on a page. The colorful illustrations are beautiful and lend so much to the stories. It is truly a beautiful book and a wonderful look into the Japanese culture.

Our next book is Korean Picture Dictionary by Tina Cho. It is a look at the Korean language. It has 1,500 words and phrases with pictures as well as the English and Korean translations (including pronunciation). This book is perfect for anyone who wants to learn Korean or teach children Korean. 
The topics include basic phrases for meeting someone, family, house, human body, counting, daily activities, colors, shapes, careers, smartphones, asking for and giving directions, weather, food, and so many more. There are 38 chapters. Some pages have more pictures than others due to the content of words. 

Our next book is for those who love Kipling's The Jungle Book. It is Into the Jungle: Stories for Mowgli by Katherine Rundell and illustrated by Kristjana S. Williams. Rundell picks up where Kipling leaves off. She expands the stories and continues them. There are five chapters each about a different character.  The stories are full of compassion and empathy and the language begs to read it out loud. Such a wonderful treasure that is perfect for class readings or bedtime stories. 

The illustrations in the book are also beautiful. They pull you in and show so many different animals of the jungle. This book will be a favorite of both boys and girls. 

Our final book is not about a culture but I am including it here because the ballerina is Misty Copeland. She is a famous African American ballerina. This book features her as part of the pop-up. The book is Disney's The Nutcracker and the Four Realms by Courtney Acampora. This beautiful pop-up book has the ballerina popping out of the binding and then all the pages have a cut-out showing her on the page. The book tells the story of how the realms were created. It gives a bit of the movie for those who love it or haven't seen it (like me). It is absolutely gorgeous. 

I hope you will take the time to check out these amazing books and learn a bit about the world.