Multicultural Books for Multicultural Monday

Disclosure: I was sent copies of these books in exchange for honest reviews. All opinions are my own.

January is upon us. Wow, time has been flying. Now that the holidays are over we turn back and look at our lives. Did you make resolutions? I always find January to be bitter sweet. I enjoy the holidays and seeing everyone and they are over. We take our Christmas decorations down and the house seems empty. However as someone who loves diversity there are always more things to look forward to. Multicultural Children's Book Day is January 31st and I am co-hosting again this year. Stay tune for my official posts starting this week. The lunar new year is also approaching. I will be participating in Multicultural Kid Blogs annual blog series on January 20th to share books about China and Korea and their lunar new year celebrations. And of course Martin Luther King Day is this month. So much great stuff. Then February hits with Black History Month. Lots to look forward to. Today I thought I would share four multicultural books with you to start off our January. 

Let's start with Thai Children's Favorite Stories by Marian D. Toth and illustrated by Patcharee Meesukhon. This book is in a series of books from Tuttle Publishing and we have had the honor of sharing many of them with you already. This one takes us to Thailand and shares a bit of the country's culture through its stories. I feel you learn quite a bit about a culture by reading its legends, fables, myths and fairy tales. The people, activities, animals and more give you a glimpse of what is different and what is the same. The illustrations add to it by seeing how gods and goddesses are traditionally portrayed. All of this adds to one's understanding of another culture and in our world climate lately I think we all need a bit more of this understanding.

This book shares nine Thai stories. Each has its own message as well as look at the country's culture. Some have people and others have gods and others are about animals. Many explain why things happen or how things happen like why there his thunder and lightning or how the tiger got its stripes. The stories are a fun way to introduce young children to other cultures and another country. These books were Hazel's favorite type when she was younger. She loved hearing the stories from other countries. Only recently has she let me begin to donate some of these books. They help open the world of wonder to our children.

Our next book takes us to the Middle East and the Muslim world. It is Riding a Donkey Backwards: Wise and Foolish Tales of Mulla Nasruddin retold by Sean Taylor and the Khayaal Theatre and illustrated by Shirin Adl. This fun book has short little tales about the foolish and yet wise Mulla Nasruddin. Mulla Nasruddin goes by different names in different countries but the author decided on this one for the book. The book shares 21 of his stories with you and after reading them you will be laughing or thinking in a way you have not before. They are fun and humorous. Mulla is often foolish and yet wise at the same time. Most of the stories fit on one to two pages and are great for quick reads. 

This book is sure to teach kids a bit about another culture as well as entertain them. It is recommended for preschool through grade 3.

Last year for Multicultural Children's Book Day I got the pleasure of sharing with you some of Deirdre Pecchioni Cummings's books including Like Rain Water. I share with you then that this book had not been printed yet. Deirdre was so kind to send me a print copy and I wanted to reshare it with you. 

In this beautiful book Deirdre shares a glimpse of her own childhood memories of her mother and the special place her mother dreamed. Then she shares how these memories have helped her and will help the reader approach problems in life. Just as the water could be too hot or too cold for her mother's plants how you react to things can be too hot or angry or not enough. Overreacting can lead to more problems and also not make you feel great. This book is full of suggestions for helping you learn to stay calm when dealing with others even during crises. 

This book is illustrated as a coloring book. There is so much built into this book with the message as well as the relaxing of making one's own mark on the pictures. There are even pages about caring for oneself and loving oneself. This is a wonderful book for children who struggle with anger, emotions as well as self confidence. 

Deirdre also included her latest book, This is the Earth. This book is a beautiful book that shares about world peace and how each of us can help create it. It starts with illustrations of two different children (different races) and it goes through sharing different children and the need to treat one another with kindness, love and understanding. It points out how we can share our differences and learn from one another. It shares how even when we do not agree we should try to see the point from the other person's view. It talks about living in peace with the earth. 

This wonderful book shares how children can step out of their comfort zones. As we get older this is harder to do and as children it is often just learning from our friends and playing with others. Children have not necessarily learned the cultural differences and out social norms our society has put on us. It is a wonderful view of ways to help stop some of the prejudices that are created. At the end of the book are questions and pages for discussion about the book. It is a wonderful tale for classes and groups to read and learn.

I hope you will take some time to check out these books. I know they offer so much for kids as well as adults.