Friday, February 2, 2018

Bookmarks: Asia picture books

The continent of Asia is a place of contrasts. Crowded cities, rugged mountains, steamy rain forests, and arid deserts make up this area of the world. Any list of books will be inadequate, but here is a few books to help introduce your child to the people, food, and places in Asia.

Rice Is Life by Rita Golden Gelman, illustrated by Yangsook Choi
On the island of Bali in Indonesia, farmers are planting rice in their fields. Following the seasons, lilting prose describes the animals and people who live near the rice fields. Note: Brief mention of false gods.

Bee-Bim Bop! By Linda Sue Park, illustrated by Ho Baek Loe
You will smile as you read this fun book about a favorite Korean food made by a young girl and her mother.

The Bicycle Man by Allan Say
At a small mountain school in Japan the children prepare for Sports Day. The author shares this surprise of this special day from his memories soon after World War 2.

Monsoon by Uma Krishnaswami, illustrated by Jamel Akib
Bright paintings show every day life in northern India where a young girl watches for the clouds that will signal the beginning of the rainy season. Excellent introduction to life in India. Note: Brief mention of idol worship.

The Top of the World: Climbing Mount Everest, written and illustrated by Steve Jenkins
Non-fiction picture book on the history and challenges of climbing the tallest mountain in the world.

Monsoon Afternoon by Kashmira Sheth, illustrated by Yoshido Jaeggi
One rainy afternoon, a bored young boy is joined by his grandfather in sailing paper boats in the washtub. Lovely water-colors depict life in a warm household in India.

For the Right to Learn: Malala Yousafzai's Story by Rebecca Langston-George, illustrated by Janna Bock
Cartoon-like illustrations share the serious story of Malala's desire to help the girls of Pakistan get an education. Help children understand the plight of children who live in a very different culture than theirs and give them an appreciation for education.

My Little Round House written and illustrated by Bolormaa Baasansuren
Baby Jilu lives in the traditional nomadic home in Mongolia. Follow him through the first year of his life, watching the changing seasons and moving to new camps. Traditional-style illustrations give a charming introduction to a fascinating way of life.

The Chiru of High Tibet by Jacqueline Briggs Martin, illustrated by Linda Wingerter
The chiru are hunted because they have the warmest, finest wool in the world, but one scientist and his four friends are determined to help save the chiru from poachers. This is the true story of their journey into the rugged mountains of Tibet to find the chiru's birthing ground.

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  1. Thank you for this wonderful list! My children and I are learning about Asia this year in our homeschool and I love to bring in books. Having them recommended by you means they must be good.

  2. Good grief- learning about other cultures and you feel the need to refer to “ false gods and idol worship”. You have completely missed the point of learning .


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