School-Age Storytime Ideas
Ethnicities and Cultures
Many teachers need books to help children learn about and respect a variety of ethnicities and cultures. The following list of books that you can offer to children and teachers comes from Kathy Haug of the Richmond Public Library:
Cooper, Floyd. CUMBAYAH. Illus. by the author. Morrow, 1998. Children and adults from the U.S.A. and all over the world sing the popular folksong. Includes Native American, African, Asian, and Middle Eastern people. Musical notation included.
Dunn, Opal. ACKA BACKA BOOL: PLAYGROUND GAMES FROM AROUND THE WORLD. Illus. by Susan Winter. Henry Holt, 2000. Forty-four games from different countries, including Cambodia, Egypt, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Morocco, Pakistan, Syria, Thailand, UK, USA, Zaire and more.
Evens, Lezlie. CAN YOU COUNT TEN TOES? COUNT TO 10 IN 10 DIFFERENT LANGUAGES. Illus. by Denis Roche. Houghton Mifflin, 1999. Languages include Japanese, Russian, Korean, Zulu, French, Hindi, Tagalog, Hebrew, Spanish, and Chinese. Map.
Fox, Mem. WHOEVER YOU ARE. Illus. by Leslie Staub. Harcourt Brace, 1997. The author reminds us that although our lives may be different from people around the world, “Joys are the same, love is the same./ Pain is the same, blood is the same./ Smiles are the same, and hearts are just the same -”
Guthrie, Woody. THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND. Illus. by Kathy Jacobsen. Little Brown, 1998. Lush paintings by Jacobsen enhance the well-known folk song about America; words and music by Woody Guthrie. Musical notation included.
Lewis, Rose. I LOVE YOU LIKE CRAZY CAKES. Illus by Jane Dyer. Little Brown, 2000. Based on the author’s own experience. A woman travels to China to adopt a baby girl. Lovingly written.
Schanzer, Rosalyn. ESCAPING TO AMERICA: A TRUE STORY. Illus. by the author. HarperCollins, 2000. Set in Poland during 1918-1921, the author tells how her ancestors decided to move to America after repeated harassment for being Jewish.
Smith, Cynthia Leitich. JINGLE DANCER. Illus. by Cornelius Van Wright and Ying-Hwa Hu. Morrow, 2000. Jenna, a member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, doesn’t have enough jingles for her dress, and is afraid she won’t be able to dance at the powwow. But loving friends and relatives give her a few jingles from their own dresses, and soon she has enough.
Weiss, Nicki. THE WORLD TURNS ROUND AND ROUND. Illus. by the author. Greenwillow, 2000. Children describe gifts they have received from relatives living in many parts of the world. “We’re part of here and part of there,/ And the world turns round and round.”