Story time is the best time of the day. Whether we're snuggled up on the couch or cozy in our pjs before bed, reading stories with my little ones is one of my favorite things to do. Everyone has a favorite book they remember from their childhood, and every day, parents and kids are discovering new classics of their own. There are many fabulous children's books out there, some of which everyone knows about and others we would have never discovered had my son not simply pulled a random book off a library shelf. I created this blog to share some of these wonderful stories with you. Think of it as a year's worth of the best children's books around, since no day should be without a great story. In the end, I hope we'll all have discovered at least a few new titles that will have made their way onto our list of family favorites. Enjoy!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Day 105: We All Went on Safari

I LOVE books that teach children about other people and places around the world.  To me, this is one of the most important things we can do for our children.  The more they are exposed to other cultures and people who are different than they are, the more tolerant and respectful of those differences they will be.  As a teacher, I have three major goals for all of my seventh grade geography students at the beginning of the year:  1.  To become curious about our beautiful world and its people; 2.  To respect and appreciate the diversity of other cultures, particularly those that are most different than our own; and 3.  To become well-informed, empathetic citizens who will try their best to make the world a better place.   As a parent, my goals are very similar.  I hope to raise my children to be curious, passionate learners who are loving, thoughtful, and kind.  Goodness knows today's world could use more tolerance, love, and understanding.  One of my favorite new multicultural reads is We All Went on Safari:  A Counting Journey through Tanzania.  Written by Laurie Krebs and illustrated by Julia Cairns, We All Went on Safari takes us on a stunning journey through the savanna of Tanzania with members of the Maasai tribe.  Along the way, we encounter majestic wildlife -- lions, ostriches, hippos, wildebeests, and more -- while learning to count from one to ten in both English and Swahili.  Cairns' illustrations are simply gorgeous and provide the perfect background for Krebs' soothing, rhythmic verse.  "We all went on safari, past an old acacia tree.  Nearby giraffes were grazing, so Tumpe counted three."  And, like so many other wonderful Barefoot publications, there is a wealth of fabulous information at the back of the book:  a double-page spread devoted to the animals of Tanzania, including their Swahili names, a page about the Maasai people, meanings of the Swahili names used throughout the book, facts and map of Tanzania and its neighboring countries,  and a page on how to count from (and pronounce) one to ten in Swahili.  There are so many things I love about this book, and there are countless other ways to keep the learning going after we have finished reading.  Find Tanzania and Africa on a map, pretend to go on your own safari, look up the meaning of your child's name, look up how to count to ten in other languages... the possibilities for extended learning are virtually endless!  Based on the Swahili names used in the book, I think my daughter would be named Arusha (independent, creative, ambitious) and my son would be Suhuba (clever, talented, affectionate.)  Whether you're looking for a great book about animals, other cultures, or counting, this is one that is bound to captivate both you and your child.  Kufurahia!  (Enjoy!)


Post a Comment