Children All Over the World Books for Children

Any and all of Ann Morris’s Around the World Series books!
They all have magnificent photographs accompanied by simple sentences.  Diversity is her focus.  Children peruse these books again and again!  All ages.

  • Houses and Homes (1995)
  • Families (2000)
  • Loving (1994) [if I had to choose a favorite, this would be it]
  • Bread, Bread Bread (1993)
  • Teamwork (1999)
  • Work (1998)

Any and all of the UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) books. All ages.

A Life Like Mine:  How children live around the world (2005) unicef DK Publishing
Exploring UNICEF’s Rights of the Child programme, this optimistic and life-affirming book relates the different problems and opportunities children face around the world. A wonderful, contemporary look at the lives of 18 children around the world.

Children Just Like Me:  A unique celebration of children around the world (1995) unicef DK Publishing
An outstanding book of photographs and information about children from every continent featuring an interview of the children and pictures their housing, school, friends, and family.

A School Like Mine:  An unique celebration of schools around the world (2007) unicef DK Publishing
Charming photographs and text celebrate the commonalities and differences between school days in different countries around the world.

A Faith Like Mine: A celebration of the world’s religions through the eyes of children (2005) unicef
Introduces Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, and Sikhism through the eyes of children. What constitutes faith and tradition is briefly explained and a world map indicates the main religion in each country 

The Day Gogo Went to Vote (1996) by Elinor Batezat Sisulu
Nelson Mandela called this book “inspiring and moving.”  This is a child’s-eye view of a milestone in South African history.  Great Grandmother Gogo leaves the house with her granddaughter to travel to the polls to vote for the first time. Ages 4-8.

Elizabeti’s Doll(2002)  by Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen
Elizabeti doesn’t have a doll and yet she wants to take care of a baby all her own, just like Mama takes care of the new baby. So she finds a rock, kisses it, and names it Eva.  This story takes place in Tanzania, and lifestyle differences, such as how a baby is carried in a kanga cloth and the way that food is cooked in a separate hut, are an integral and unobtrusive part of the text. Ages 3-8.

From Here to There (1999) by Margery Cuyler.
Beautifully illustrated by Yu Cha Pak giving a feeling of a grandma Moses painting.  A delightful child, Maria Mendoza describes where she lives – and each description is accompanied by outstanding illustrations.  She lives in a home, on a street, in the town of Splendora, in the county of Liberty, in the state of Texas, in the country of the United States, on the continent of North America, in the Western Hemisphere, on the planet earth, in the solar system, in the Milky Way Galaxy, in the universe and beyond.  Ages 4-10.

Listen to the Wind (2009) by Greg Mortenson
This is a lovely and an inspiring picture-book that tells Greg Mortenson’s “Three Cups of Tea” story through the eyes of children in the village of Korphe, Pakistan. The story focuses on the elements most important to children: a stranger’s appearance, the drama of everyone participating in the construction, and the happy conclusion of having their very own school. Artist Susan Roth’s collage illustrations are brilliant and respectfully portray the beauty of the genuine care between a Westerner and the people of a remote Middle Eastern village.

Nasreen’s Secret School:  A True Story from Afghanistan (2009) by Jeanette Winter
This is a beautifully illustrated book that tells the story of a young Afghanistan girls’ courage.  Although forbidden an education by the Taliban, Nasreen attends a secret girls’ school.  Winter’s acrylic paintings give a clear sense of both Nasreen’s everyday fear and the immense joy that she finds in learning about art, literature and history. (Ages 4-8)

Rise and Shine, Mariko-chan!  By Chiyok Tomioka
This is a delightfully illustrated book showing a typical morning in the home of Mariko-chan in Japan.  Glimpses into the Japanese customs occur as how the sisters seal a promise by linking baby fingers, the making of triangular-shaped rice balls and the obvious show of affection and respect for Oba-san “dear grandmother.” Ages 4-8.

Ruby’s Wish(2004) by Shirin Yim Bridges
This book is based on the author’s grandmothers’ story about how one handles the conflict between Chinese tradition and young Ruby’s longing to attend university with grace and compassion. A tutor teaches any of the 100 assorted grandchildren who wish to learn, but Ruby is the only girl who continues to study while also keeping pace with her many household duties. Bridges characterizes the heroine as confident and spunky. Ages 4-8.

Silent Music (2008) by James Rumford
Ali, a boy living in Baghdad passionately loves many things, but primarily practicing his Arabic calligraphy.  This simply written and beautifully illustrated book highlights the power of literacy as a creative force in the midst of war, then, as a metaphor, invites reflection on the difficulty of practicing peace. A winner of the 2009 Jane Addams Children’s Literature Award.  Ages 7-10

Welcoming Babies,(1994) by Margy Burns Knight.
There are as many ways to welcome babies to the world as there are cultures.  We sing, kiss, bless, name, announce, celebrate, give gifts, and honor the births of our youngest ones with dignity and joy.  Warm, gentle pictures enhance the simple text of this story which brings together many ways of welcoming. Ages Infant – 6.

Whoever You Are (2006) Mem Fox [also in Spanish]
Fox has composed a simple refrain to celebrate human connections in this lovely picture book. “Little one, whoever you are,” she explains, there are children all over the world who may look different, live in different homes and different climates, go to different schools, and speak in different tongues but all children love, smile, laugh, and cry. Their joys, pain, and blood are the same, “whoever they are, wherever they are, all over the world.”  The illustrations are just amazing. Ages 3-8.

The World Turns Round and Round(2000) by Nicki Weiss
This charming book describes various items of clothing sent from relatives around the world to the children in one class. Weiss’s cheerful, colored-pencil drawings accompany the verses for each child.   The phrase “The world turns round and round” repeats throughout the book – the children spontaneously begin chant (read) the phrase along with the reader. Ages 3-8

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