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Prather’s Pick: A resource of stories from around the world

This week’s book is a “must have” for parents — and for teachers too. It’s a resource book with a list of over 600 children’s book titles from around the world, all recommended by the author.

“Give Your Child the World: Raising Globally Minded Kids One Book at a Time” was written by Jamie C. Martin.

The author’s family represents four countries — England, India, Liberia, and the USA. Her husband is British, they have one biological son and two internationally adopted children. So it’s easy to see why she is concerned about connecting her family with the world.

The reader will find the following sentence on the back cover of the book: “Raise insightful, compassionate kids who are inspired to change the world for good.”

And underneath the sentence are the following words: “A love of books. A love of reading. A love of the world.”

That’s what the book is all about.

The first part of the book presents suggestions for bringing the world into your home. They’re simple ideas such as introducing international foods or exploring a new country each month or placing a framed map or a globe around the house and, of course, opening a book. While this resource is about children’s books, the suggested activities are family-oriented, including reading the books aloud as a family.

Still another chapter suggests ways to choose the best books for family reading. Powerful books, Martin suggests, reflect the struggles of right and wrong, help build compassion, inspire and grow character, and deepen the understanding of language.

And how can you build a story-solid foundation for your family? Martin offers a list of ten ideas.

The second part of the book is a list of over 600 books, all recommended by Martin. They are divided into chapters according to the part of the countries represented by the books. There are multicultural books and books from Africa, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, North America, Latin America, and Australia, Oceanica, and the Polar Region.

Within each chapter the books are divided by age level. Following each title there’s a summary of the story, author(s), country represented, and, where applicable, a notation as to whether the title contains a religious perspective. A notation is also made if the book is a Newbery Medal winner (for the story) or a Caldecott Medal winner (for illustration).

For example, “The Cow-tail Switch and Other West African Stories” is a book that contains 17 traditional West African stories, legends, and tall tales. It is a Newbery Honor Book. There’s a note: Religious beliefs mentioned.

Especially helpful are four indexes at the back of the book: Author Index, Country/Region Index, Historical Index, and Title Index.

I love this extremely useful resource — so much that I ordered a book for myself. (You can order through Downtown Books.)

If your family participates in the reading programs offered through the Craig branch of the Moffat County Library, use this week’s book to help find reading selections. (The winter reading program is now underway at the library and will finish on March 1. The summer program will begin in May.)

Thanks to Christy Gonzales, librarian at the Craig library, who brought this book to my attention.


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