Booklists | December 16, 2020

Read Around the World with These 5 Children’s Books


Book Covers

Children’s worlds are getting smaller due to social distancing. 

Think of a young child. What comes to mind? Playfulness, adventure, an eagerness to understand and interact with the world around them. In a child’s earlier years, their direct social and physical environment plays a huge role in their development. Now, with confinement, social distancing, and ongoing school disruptions, it’s easy to see how almost every aspect of a child’s world is shrinking. 

How can parents offset the effects of social distancing?

Make a child’s world bigger again: read stories from around the world. By introducing your child to different countries, cultures, and characters through books, you are reminding them that the world expands beyond the four corner’s of their bedroom – it’s full of diverse beauty and provides endless opportunities to feed your child’s wonder. 

While reading stories from around the globe with your child, ask questions to help them develop a deeper understanding.   

It’s important that children learn to empathize with the characters in the stories. You can prompt them to do this by asking questions: “Isn’t it interesting that she lives in a small village? Do you think it would be fun to work on a farm? What would that be like?”

Worldreader Keep Children Reading program offers a library of global children’s books available on the BookSmart app. From an aspiring doctor in Ghana, to a girl who loves to dance in India, we’ve chosen 5 children’s books that will help your child travel to new worlds – from the safety of your home.

Dance of the Wild Cover

Dance of the Wild by Richa Jha

Published by Pickle Yolk Books

Ages 6-8

Little Shilu loves to dance around naked. She wants to be like the animals; like Pirate, her cat. When her grandmother Nannu says she can’t because she is now a big girl, Shilu gets down to understanding why she can’t. Peppered with Nannu’s loving chiding, intimate grandma-granddaughter bonding over conversations, and a heart-to-heart between the mother and this little inquisitive daughter, this book is a reflection of the wild and free nature of childhood.

Country: India

► Read it here.

Journey for Tomorrow Cover

Journey for Tomorrow by Andrea Wilson

Published by Voices of Future Generations

Ages 9-12

This is a tale of dolphins saving a little girl. The little girl later goes on to save animals of the Earth with her clever invention. This book shows us how, by living with compassion and dedication, we can help our animal friends and maintain positive relationships with them.

Country: United Kingdom

► Read it here.

Gitti's Story: Earth

Gitti’s Story: Earth (First Look Science) by Anushka Kalro, Rajasee Ray, Sankhalina Nath, and Shubhangi Goel

Published by Tulika Publishers

Ages 6-8

Gitti the rock is very old. After a long, long journey that started from the boiling-hot centre of the earth, he now sits quietly on a mountain, watching the sun rise and set. What is his story?

Country: All

► Read it here.

Hakeem the Adventurer Cover

Hakeem the Adventurer by Adam Jade Kadia 

Published by PS Publishing

Ages 9-12

Young Hakeem dreams of travel and magnificent homes, but as a poor orphan from Libya, neither seems likely to be in his future. After a harsh rejection from society, Hakeem sets out on the adventure that will change his life… and perhaps the lives of others. He travels to different countries, makes new friends everywhere he goes, and learns a lot from his travels. This book is a beautiful call for peace, friendship, respect, tolerance, and kindness. It can be enjoyed by children and adults alike.

Country: United Kingdom

► Read it here.

Little Gardenhead

Little Gardenhead by Mayte Mujica

Published by Ediciones Pichoncito

Ages 0-5

What do you think would happen if one day you decided to never wash or cut your hair again?
Well, that’s precisely what little Cristobal has decided. And no one, not even his father, his mother, or his teachers can talk him out of it. Little Gardenhead is a tale of innocence and freedom.

Country: Peru

► Read it in English here.

► Leer en español aquí.

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