travel around the world in 35 kids books! (an olympics reading list)

August 1, 2012

With the Olympics going on right now, I thought it would be fun to travel around the world through picture books. Want to join us?

Obviously, I have not even begun to cover all the countries of the world or even the ones competing in the Olympics this year, but I did get a sampling from each continent to get you started.

Also, I would like to say that reading a book is not the same as visiting a country and a book can never be a definitive picture of a country--it's just one book, written by one person, and it may contain fictional elements, etc.

So, this is just a fun list that is filled with some of my favorite books set in various countries of the world and some that are on our "to read list." I've placed an * next to books we have read. The rest are ones that just look delightful to me.

I would LOVE to hear what you think of some of these (if you've read them) and also would be so happy if you left a comment with a suggestion for other books with specific global settings (any country!) that you or your child loves.

Fun idea to do with the list: 
1. Get a wall map.

2. Every time you read one of these books, have your child locate the country on the map and place a sticker on it or circle it with a dry erase marker, color it in, etc.

Want to really kick up the fun factor? Print out this free printable kids passport and use a date stamp every time you "visit" a country! (Juliet did this in school last year and she LOVED it.)

North America

1. CanadaWaiting for the Whales

2. *United StatesTulip Sees America

3. Mexico: Off We Go to Mexico

Central America

4. *GuatemalaAbuela's Weave

7. PanamaConejito: A Folktale from Panama

South America

Europe: (England books at the end of this post)

13. SwitzerlandA Bell for Ursli

14. FranceCrepes by Suzette

15. ItalyGuido's Gondola

16. RomaniaNever Laugh at Bears: A Transylvanian Folktale (Folktales of the World)

17. *IrelandFinn and the Giant


18. South AfricaThe Gift of the Sun: A Tale from South Africa

19. *UgandaBeatrice's Goat

20. *TanzaniaWe All Went On Safari

21. *KenyaPapa, Do You Love Me?

22. Morocco (and Australia)Mirror


23. *IndiaOne Grain Of Rice: A Mathematical Folktale

24. ChinaKites

25. JapanI Live in Tokyo

26. *ThailandThe Umbrella Queen

27. PalestineSitti's Secrets

28. South Korea: The Firekeeper's Son

29. AustraliaKoala Lou


30My Granny Went to Market
Host Nation: Great Britain

What do you think? See anything that you might want to read? I'd love for each of you to leave a favorite book (or two or 10 for that matter!) in the comments and let me know of a book about a country that didn't make my list or another option for one I've included. 

I really hope I can find at least half of these at my library--let me know how your hunt goes!

1 comment:

Whitney @ Pen Pals and Picture Books said...

This is great! Around the world-ish books was my plan B if I couldn't find Olympic books, but I had pretty much no books in mind, so I'm glad you have so many I can look for :)

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