Monday 1 October 2012

Around the world with picture books

Picture books are a great way to learn about other cultures.

These are our favourite  for learning about other places and cultures. Several have been gifts from friends from the relevant countries. Some talk about food and a couple have recipes, others depict famous buildings, wildlife or a way of life.

How to make an apple pie and see the world, by Marjorie Priceman, is a whistlestop tour of the world while looking for the ingredients for an apple pie. Not local food exactly but great for geography and a recipe to try. We spent a week with this book, maps, apples and playdough.

Mama Panya's Pancakes, by Mary and Rich Chamberlin, is another book with a recipe but the main theme is about sharing and friendship, in Kenya. There are pages at the back with more information about Kenya.

The little painter of Sabana Grande, the author is Patricia Markun, is about a boy who paints his home in rural Panama using paints made from local materials.

The famous Madeline, by Ludwig Bemelmans, is set in Paris and the pictures show famous Parisian landmarks. My children can recite much of this book probably because of its rhyming text. Madeline in London has London sites and events.

Baby Koala's bedtime and other books in the Steve Parish kids series showcase animals in Australia. These are illustrated by photographs.

Make way for duckings takes place in Boston. The story has now entered into Boston life and there are models of the ducklings. Interesting effect of children's literature on a city. This book can lead to plenty of activity.

Grandfather's Journey by Allen Say travels between the US and Japan bringing complex issues of war and home.

Olivia visits Venice, by Ian Falconer, is a comparatively recent find for us-great fun and fitted in well with the Venice unit.

Ice Bear, by Nicola Davies, is set in the Arctic. Really non-fiction about those beautiful but scary polar bears.

The story about Ping by Marjorie Flack is probably very old fashioned but is the story of a little duck on the Yangtze River and his attempts to avoid being last. We made a stir fry to go with this book-not duck!

Have you any "around the world" picture book recommendations?


  1. I can't believe you left my home, New York City, off the list. :) Thanks for linking up to The Children's Bookshelf.

  2. Sorry I did! What are your recommendations? I almost put down the "Little red lighthouse and the great grey bridge."

  3. I've recently challenged my readers to explore the world through picture books. I will have to share your post as inspiration.
    Thanks for linking up to The Children's Bookshelf.