Read Around the World with These 6 Children’s Books

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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?”

Help your child identify the differences and similarities between themselves and those characters: “Wow, she likes to dance just like you!” “He loves his grandpa just like you.” “She stopped going to school to help her mother with chores – what do you think about that?”

Five global stories to read with your child

Worldreader’s 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 five children’s books that will help your child travel to new worlds – from the safety of your home.

NOTE: these books can only be accessed on your mobile phone. Some of them may not be available in your country. Apologies for any inconvenience this may cause. 

Doctor in a Mirror by Edward Mwangi 

Annabel is in trouble. It is that season again. Daktari, the old woman who lives in a small hut, is prepared for the job she is well known for. Annabel sees a doctor in herself and does not want to be operated on by the village doctor. This, however, is contrary to the community’s culture. She risks a lot with her refusal. What will happen? The Moran Integrity Readers series has interesting stories that enhance the integrity and life skills of the reader. The stories in this series are aimed at establishing a society full of virtues.

Country: Kenya
Read it here

Dance of the Wild by Richa Jha 

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

Abla Poku: The Baoulé Queen by Akoss Ofori-Mensah 

Once upon a time, there was a mighty kingdom in the central part of ancient Ghana known as the Asante Kingdom. It had a powerful king known as Otumfuo Osei Tutu I, the Asantehene. Osei Tutu I had a niece called Abena Poku. After some unrest, Abena Poku and her people settled in the area between the Comoe and Bandama rivers in the eastern part of the Ivory Coast and founded a kingdom of their own with Abena Poku as the first queen. Abena Poku thus founded a dynasty which has survived to date.

Country: Ghana
Read it here

Journey for Tomorrow by Andrea Wilson

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

Hakeem the Adventurer by Adam Jade Kadia 

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

No Empty Dream by Ida Fynn-Thompson

In many African societies, education for the girl child, no matter how brilliant she may be, is considered a waste of the family’s resources. A determined young girl, Ama Ataa, encouraged by a retired schoolmaster, fulfills her ambition of getting an education and becoming the first female doctor in her district.

Country: Ghana
Read it here

P.S. With your help we could reach thousands more children with e-books by the end of the year. Will you join us this holiday season? Give now and change a child’s life.