Saturday, December 12, 2015

Text Set: Books Featuring International Grandparents and Grandchildren

In November I presented at NCTE in a session called "Reading Another Culture: Teaching Diversity without Reinforcing Stereotypes.

As part of that session, I have put together various text sets of picture books that teachers and parents can use to help introduce children to diverse characters and children around the world. The complete handouts from the talk are available here.

This is the fifth in a series of posts that provides more details about each of the example text sets. Click on any of the previous posts below:

International Books Featuring Grandparents

India: Monsoon Afternoon (2008) by Kashmira Sheth and illustrated by Yoshiko Jaeggi. This endearing picture book explores the first day of monsoon season as told through the eyes of the younger brother and his adventures with his Dadaji (grandfather). Great connections to the past and the future as well.

India: My Dadima Wears a Sari (2007) by Kashmira Sheth and illustrated by Yoshiko Jaeggi. Indian-American granddaughter Rupa does not understand why her Dadima (grandmother) always chooses to wear a sari, but through the story she learns more about the saris and her Dadima. The author's note includes her own stories of wearing saris as a child and adult and includes step-by-step directions for wrapping your own sari.

Argentina: Abuelo (2014) by Arthur Dorros and illustrated by Raúl Colón. This lovely modern tale tells the story of a young boy who rides out into the Pampas of South America with his Abuelo (grandfather). Then when the boy and his family move to the big city, he is able to apply his abuelo's lessons and still feel connected. Great use of Spanish phrases throughout the story as well, and Raúl Colón's illustrations really bring the Pampas to light.

Guatemala: Abuela's Weave (1993) by Omar S. Castañeda and illustrated by Enrique O. Sanchez. In this story, a young Guatemalan girl is nervous about taking her grandmother's weavings to the big market to sell them, but she finds success when people are impressed by the quality of the artistry.

Mexico: Playing Lotería / El juego de la lotería (2005), illustrated by Jill Arena. Our young narrator is nervous to stay alone with his abuela in Mexico, as he doesn't know very much Spanish. But when she takes him to la feria and shows him her lotería stand, he finds his hook for learning more Spanish - and for teaching abuela some English. The author's note includes additional information about the game, also known as Mexican bingo. This is a cute story about connecting to a grandparent who speaks another language. (Bilingual English and Spanish.)

China: Noodle Magic (2014) by Roseanne Greenfield Thong and illustrated by Meilo So. This story, in the style of a Chinese folktale, features young Mei who learns, with her Grandpa Tu's encouragement, that true magic really does come from within. Meilo So's expression-filled style really shines in the noodle-centric illustrations, especially when Mei and Grandpa Tu are working together to slap, kneed, stretch, and pull the dough.


Dominica: Look Back (2014) by Trish Cooke and illustrated by Caroline Binch. This folktale-style story from the Caribbean island nation of Dominica is told through the frame of Grannie telling a story from her childhood to her grandson Christopher. Her story involves the mysterious, mischievous Ti Bolom. Kids will love the repeated storytelling call-and-response as well as the 'is he / isn't he' discussions about Ti Bolom himself.

Do you have a favorite picture book that features an international grandparent-grandchild relationship? Please share in the comments below! For more text sets on diverse topics, please click here.

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