Topic: Multicultural

  1621: A New Look at Thanksgiving

by Catherine O'Neill Grace & Margaret M. Bruchac

HARDCOVER
Multicultural
Experience of Nature 

This fascinating, informative and well-researched photo-essay about Thanksgiving is recounted from the Wampanoag perspective countering the prevailing traditional story of the historical event. Cranberries, potatoes, tall black hats with buckles never were part of the first Thanksgiving. Color photographs of the reenactment of the harvest gathering of 1621 that took place in October 2000 at the Plymouth Plantation, a living history museum of 17th century Plymouth, form the basis of this book to show the life styles and cultures of the Native Americans and the English colonists, and their shared history.

        Grades: 2nd through 6th

  Amazing Peace: A Christmas Poem

by Maya Angelou

HARDCOVER
Multicultural

Maya Angelou’s inspirational Christmas poem was first read during the 2005 White House tree-lighting ceremony. This illustrated children’s edition depicting a small town community gathering is a poetic celebration of peoples of all races and faiths, brought together in hope for peace during the holiday season, a time when, " The world is encouraged to come away from rancor, Come the way of friendship."

      Grades: 3rd & up

  Are Trees Alive?

by Debbie S. Miller

HARDCOVER
Flora : Trees & Forests
Multicultural 

Drawing basic comparisons between the structure of trees and humans, Are Trees Alive? describes these living plants, how they exist, grow, draw nutrients and provide habitats for other creatures. The double-page acrylic and gouache illustrations span the fascinating variety of trees found throughout the world depicted with their respective cultures -- the exotic baobab, ribbon gum, coconut, cocoa, kapok and banyan trees as well as the more familiar maple, redwood, pine, birch and aspen of North America. A picture glossary of the trees, including their dependent animals, provides interesting historical and scientific information.

      Grades: Preschool to 2nd

  The Autumn Equinox: Celebrating the Harvest

by Ellen Jackson

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Multicultural 

"The Autumn Equinox" takes readers around the world showing how the harvest season has been celebrated by many cultures throughout time to give thanks for the crops that sustain people over the winter. Descriptions of Chinese, Celt, Germanic, English and Pilgrim seasonal festivals as well as the Iroquois Green Corn Dance, the Nigerian Yam Festival, and the Indian Pongal feast depict the harvest celebrations by peoples of the earth, of which certain traditions reappear in our festivities of Thanksgiving and Halloween. An adaptation of a Native American Sauk harvest legend as well as "Classroom Activities" of a number of festivals to make Chinese Moon Cakes, an African Harvest Drum and a Pongal Dessert incorporate the various seasonal festivities into children's contemporary culture.

See also by Ellen Jackson:
The Summer Solstice
The Spring Equinox
The Winter Solstice

        Grades: All

  Beatrice's Goat

by Page McBrier

PAPERBACK
Multicultural

Based on a true account about a nine-year old African girl and her goat Mugisa, Beatrice’s Goat describes the impact that charitable donations can make in improving the lives of needy people in third world countries. The simple gift of the goat to a family living in a Ugandan village enriches their diet, enables them to sell the goat’s milk and its kids to other villagers to buy clothing and household items, and eventually fulfills Beatrice’s dream of attending the local school, when her family finally can afford to purchase her a uniform and books. Lohstoeter’s acrylic paintings of the picture book vividly evoke the landscape of western Uganda, the local banana groves and tropical vegetation, the thatched huts of the villagers as well as scenes of the daily life of Beatrice, her family and the goats.

See also:
Katie Smith Milway's One Hen: How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference

        Grades: Kindergarten to 3rd

  Between Earth and Sky: Legends of Native American Sacred Places

by Joseph Bruchac

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Multicultural 

Locker's dramatic landscape paintings complement ancient legends of places sacred to Native Americans. An uncle recounts to his nephew ten stories from the Seven Directions -- North, South, East, West, Above, Below and Within -- to evoke the beauty of the places and the wisdom of the teachings. A North American map of the original Native nations and a pronunciation guide of the tribes and regions of the legends are included.

Recommended in Nature's Course (November/December 1996) published by CCEL.

        Grades: 3rd to 6th

  Brother Eagle, Sister Sky

by Chief Seattle

HARDCOVER
Multicultural
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

"A message from a Native American chief who explains how the earth and all the creatures who dwell upon it are sacred. His words, together with Jeffers's images, convey how all aspects of the natural environment are interconnected, and how Native American people approach nature with an attitude of humility and respect. Spirited pictures depict the contrast between a reciprocal relationship with the land and the current state of environmental crisis." From Bringing the World Alive: A Bibliography of Nature Stories for Children, published by The Orion Society.

Recommended in Nature's Course (November/December 1996) published by CCEL.

        Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Children Just Like Me!

by Susan Elizabeth Cropsey, Barnabas & Anabel Kindersley

HARDCOVER
Multicultural

Children Just Like Me! celebrates the diversity of cultures, religions and lifestyles of children throughout the world as well as their similarities of interests, love of play, dreams and hopes. Visiting 31 countries for over a year, Barnabas and Anabel Kindersley met with individual children to find out about their family and friends, their schooltime and playtime as well as their interests. Thirty-six children, presented on a first name basis, living throughout the Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia, are featured in their home settlings and regions as well as their daily activities with a wealth of captioned photographs. UNICEF receives a royalty for every copy of this book sold.

      Grades: 2nd & up

  Children Just Like Me! Celebrations

by Barnabas & Anabel Kindersley

HARDCOVER
Multicultural

Although holidays such as Halloween, Christmas, Epiphany and Hanukkah are familiar to most people in the United States, Raksha Bandhan, Kokomono-hi, Egmenlik Bayrami and Holi are known to but a few. Writer Anabel Kindersley and photographer Barnabas Kindersley, traveled to 18 countries to join children celebrating important festivities of their lives -- in Hong Kong, Brazil, Zambia, England, Japan, France, Ethiopia, Turkey, Sri Lanka, India, Jordan, Vietnam, Canada, Mexico, US, Slovakia, Sweden, Germany and Spain. The four seasons of the year provide the structure to explore the rich diversity of 25 different religious holidays and cultural celebrations found throughout our world. Numerous photographs picture the children dressed in traditional costumes and show scenes from their celebrations as well as captioned images detailing their festivals. UNICEF receives a royalty for every copy of this book sold.

      Grades: 2nd & up

  The Circle of Days

by Reeve Lindbergh

PAPERBACK
Experience of Nature
Multicultural 

Based on the hymn "The Canticle of the Sun" by Francis of Assisi which was written in 1225, this book gives praise and thanks for all of creation -- for the sun, stars and moon, for the air, water, earth, wind and fire, for plants and animals, for the desert, mountain, rocks and sea. Lindbergh's rhythmic poem and Felstead's illustrations of watercolor, gouache and collage depicting each element of praise celebrate the beauty and diversity of this world in an environmental and spiritual picture book.

        Grades: Preschool to 2nd

  The Day the Earth Was Silent

by Michael McGuffee

PAPERBACK
Multicultural

Dedicated to Christa McAuliffe, this inspiring story for young children exemplifies the importance of dedication to an idea, the strength of cooperation and the fruits of pursuing one's vision. A class of schoolchildren create a flag of the Earth set against the vast blackness of space. Despite disheartening reactions to their idea of sharing their flag with all the Earth, the classmates are determined to challenge obstacles and to pursue their dream to display their flag as a symbol, not of different nations, but of the Earth; not of what they are, but of what they may become. Full-page illustrations of this picture book artfully complement the simple yet pointed text that repeats the challenge of the question, "Why not try?"

        Grades: 3rd to 5th

  Did You Hear Wind Sing Your Name?

by Sandra De Coteau Orie

PAPERBACK
Experience of Nature
Multicultural 

Stunning full-page illustrations capture the lyricism of the Oneida song celebrating the rebirth of spring, the cycle of day and night, and the beauty of flora and fauna experienced through the senses -- through the sweet scent of cedar, through the warmth of the morning sun, through the taste of the rain and the first meadow strawberries, and through the sight of the colorful blossoming of flowers, the movements in air and on land of the animals, the growth in the fields of corn, beans and squash, and the greening in the woods of the Aspen Saplings among the White Birches and Darkwoods.

      Grades: Preschool & up

  The First Thanksgiving

by Jean Craighead George

PAPERBACK
Multicultural
Experience of Nature 

Tracing the history back to the time of the glaciers when Plymouth Rock was first deposited at Cape Cod, George explores the roots of the tradition of Thanksgiving. The author takes readers back to the times of the first Indian settlers, the Pawtuckets, and the devastating effect of disease upon the Native Americans brought later from Europe. We learn of the capture of Squanto by the English traders and his travels in the Atlantic as well as the religious persecution of the Pilgrims and their voyage on the Mayflower to America. Through his knowledge of English, Squanto establishes a relationship between the Pilgrims and the Native Americans who teach the new settlers to survive and adapt to their new home. The Green Corn Dance of the Native Americans and the Harvest Feast of the Pilgrims come together in the mutual celebration of the two peoples that form the basis of today's Thanksgiving feast in a book richly illustrated by the oil paintings of Thomas Locker.

Recommended in Nature's Course (November/December 1996) published by CCEL.

      Grades: 1st to 5th

  For Every Child

by Adapted by Caroline Castle

HARDCOVER
Multicultural

Introduced by a foreword by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the picture book outlines fourteen basic tenets of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Each fundamental right of every child in this world is expressed in simple language on a double-page spread, illustrated by a renown artist from around the world. The diversity of imagery -- happy, healthy, nourished, protected and secure children enjoying each basic right -- exemplifies that: "Whoever we are, wherever we live, these rights belong to all children under the sun and the moon and the stars ...."

      Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message

by Chief Jake Swamp

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Multicultural 

"This book is strong and simple. The text is the traditional Iroquois prayer of Thanksgiving. . . . Part of the living tradition of Native Americans today, it gives thanks for the food we eat, the beauty in the world and everything that sustains us and gives us pleasure. The illustrations by Erwin Printup, a member of the Cayaga tribe of upstate New York, are clean edged, colorful and full of symbolic strength." Excerpt of review from Nature's Course (November/December 1996) published by CCEL.

See also: Jonathan London's, Giving Thanks

        Grades: Preschool & Up

  Hiawatha's Childhood

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Multicultural 

"After Hiawatha learns legends of the magical cosmos from his caretaker Nokomis, he is compelled to befriend the plants and animals of his local environment. This enchanting story depicts a child's fascination with the natural world and sense of kinship with other creatures. Errol Le Cain's intricate illustrations are a delightful companion to this timeless classic." From Bringing the World Alive: A Bibliography of Nature Stories for Children, published by The Orion Society.

Recommended in Nature's Course (November/December 1996) published by CCEL.

        Grades: Kindergarten & Up

  If the World Were a Village

by David J. Smith

HARDCOVER
Multicultural

To help children grasp a better understanding of the world’s large population and the diversity of peoples that span our planet, the author simplified the expanse of billions of humans to comprise instead simply a village of 100 people. The village is described in terms of the distribution of nationalities, languages, ages, religions, literacy and access to schooling as well as its food supply, clean air and water, and the distribution of wealth. By learning about the world’s peoples, the author hopes to encourage a passion in children about their world and to foster “world-mindedness” – “the sense that our planet is actually a village, and we share this small, precious village with our neighbors”.

      Grades: 2nd to 6th

  The Kid's Multicultural Art Book

by Alexandra M. Terzian

PAPERBACK
Multicultural
Field Guides & Activity Books 

The experience of creating ethnic arts and crafts is a means, according to the author Terzian, of understanding and appreciating the traditions of other cultures throughout the world. The roots, rhythms, designs and traditions of Native American, Hispanic, African and Asian cultures are explored in this activity book through the craft making projects and background information of the culture. Although some of the crafts are quite intricate and might require adult supervision, they are adapted to make use of basic materials -- yarn, cardboard, paints, glue, construction paper and poster board, pie plates, markers, egg cartons. Some projects make use of salt dough and papier mache for which recipes are provided. Ethnic crafts include: Egyptian Paper Beads, African Animal Nose Masks, Chinese Good Luck Dragon & Egg Painting, Peacocks of India, Aztec Sun God and Codex, Inuit Finger Masks, Guatemalan Plate Designs and Native American Northwest Coast Totem Poles.

        Grades: 1st & up

  The Little Match Girl

by Hans Christian Anderson

HARDCOVER
Multicultural

This moving 19th century classic tale by Hans Christian Andersen narrates the sad story of a poverty-stricken girl peddling flowers and matches on city streets during the holiday season. The images of people scurrying to New Year's celebrations and the abundance of food and goods, all out of the grasp of the girl, starkly contrast against the hunger and isolation of the needy child. The story is vividly illustrated by Pinkney's stunning gouache and watercolor artwork that shows the pain as well as the light-filled visions of hope of the "little match girl."

        Grades: 3rd & up

  Maple Moon

by Connie Brummel Crook

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Multicultural 

Connie Cook borrowed elements from Native American folk tales to create an enchanting story about the discovery of maple syrup by a Native American boy and the tradition of the weeks of the sap run, the Maple Moon. A young Missisauga boy, mockingly called "Limping Leg" by some children because of his injured limb, wanders off to be alone in the woods. There he observes a squirrel drinking the "sweet water" of a maple tree. Patiently, the boy learns to obtain sap from the maple. In showing his elders his discovery of the "sweet water", he saves his people from starvation and earns their respect.

See also: Lois Ehlert's Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf, a picture book about the life cycle of a sugar maple tree.

        Grades: Preschool to 2nd

  My House Has Stars

by Megan McDonald

PAPERBACK
Multicultural

My House Has Stars shows both the diversity and unity of different cultures that all live together under the stars. Children in eight different locations throughout the world -- Alaska, the American Southwest, Brazil, Ghana, Mongolia, Nepal, Japan and the Philippines -- describe their different lifestyles and homes, but all look up at night to the same sky. All have a house that has stars. Impressionistic night watercolor paintings show the wonders of each perspective.

        Grades: Kindergarten to 3rd

  Old Turtle

by Douglas Wood

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Multicultural 

"Back when all the rocks and animals and plants and waters of the earth could speak, they had an argument over where and how a supernatural being, or God, manifests his or herself. Then the people came. Forgetting that they are part of the earth too, the people destroyed many natural features and fought among themselves until eventually, the old turtle set them straight. Soft, fluid watercolors are a delightful companion to the text. This modern fable provides an evocative call for peace with respect to all of the interrelationships of the earth." From Bringing the World Alive: A Bibliography of Nature Stories for Children, published by The Orion Society.

Recommended in Nature's Course (November/December 1996) published by CCEL.

      Grades: Preschool to 2nd

  Old Turtle and the Broken Truth

by Douglas Wood

HARDCOVER
Multicultural
Experience of Nature 

Old Turtle and the Broken Truth is beautiful, thought-provoking fable, instilling a message of respect for the unity of mankind and for the small, beautiful truths of the world that can be found in "listening once more to the language of breezes, by learning lessons from stones and animals and trees and stars. " The delicate, shimmering watercolor and ink illustrations reflect the mood and beauty of the lyrical text. The wise turtle of Wood’s 1992 classic, Old Turtle, calls upon readers to reflect on "a world made of small and gentle truths, of all the peoples being one People," as they see themselves in one another.

      Grades: 4th and up

  One Earth, One Spirit

by Compiled by Tessa Strickland

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Multicultural 

Compiled especially for children with stunning photographs of youth from all over the world, this collection of prayers from Eastern and Western faiths and cultures celebrates our sacred bond with the Earth and the unifying connection of all life. A deep reverence for the Earth is expressed in these lyrical verses which originate from Native American, Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Sikh, Taoist and Hindu cultures. "Notes on the Prayers" is included for adults to help young readers better understand the universality of spiritual experience and the origin of each selection.

      Grades: 3rd & up

  One Grain of Sand

by Pete Seeger

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Multicultural 

In 1956 Pete Seeger began writing "One Grain of Sand," a lullaby for his youngest daughter, and over the years improvised its verses and melodies. The lyrics of the song compare the delicate grain of sand to a drop of water in the sea, a snowflake in a storm, a lonely star in the sky, a leaf of grass on a plain and a splashed raindrop. Blue and earth-toned illustrations gently weave throughout the world depicting parents and children in panoramas and close-ups -- on the sands of a tropical beach, along the banks of an Indian river, in urban, coastal and rural settings as well as Nordic snows and gentle rain showers. Scenes of animals with their young -- giraffes in Africa, cats on urban roofs and polar bears on ice floes -- as well as imagery of wild horses streaming over plains and schools of fish swirling in the ocean, all lyrically complement the flow of Seeger's lullaby evoking parental love and the fragility of the environment. (The book also includes Seeger's commentary and three lines of musical notation of the lullaby.)

      Grades: Baby to Pre-school

  Our Favorite Stories

by Jamila Gavin

HARDCOVER
Multicultural

Ten children originally featured in Children Just Like Me! have selected their favorite story -- a story drawn from the religion, history and folk traditions of their unique cultures. Ari from Finland, Erdene from Mongolia, Levi from the Inuit people of Canada, Omar from Mexico, Celina from the Amazon in Brazil, Ngawaiata from New Zealand, Meena from Hindus of India, Houda from Morocco, Rachel from France and Bakang from Botswana -- their favorite stories are founded in their spiritual or cultural roots, but share common universal themes that speak to all children. The stories are vividly illustrated and complemented by photographs of the children as well as the local surroundings that elucidate the origins of the tale. UNICEF receives a royalty for every copy of this book sold.

      Grades: 2nd to 6th

  Paths to Peace: People Who Changed the World

by Jane Breskin Zalben

HARDCOVER
Multicultural

Sixteen individuals from different countries, times, faiths and vocations -- from scientists and politicians to humanitarians and writers -- who were courageous to try to make the world a better place are profiled in Jane Breskin Zalben’s Paths to Peace. Mahatma Gandhi, Anne Frank, Martin Luther King, Jr., Anwar El-Sadat, John F. Kennedy, Cesar Chavez, Wangari Maathai, Mother Teresa, Albert Einstein, Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Dalai Lama, Aung San Suu Kyi, Elie Wiesel, Ralph Bunche, Princess Diana and Eleanor Roosevelt are each represented in a double spread of a distinctive collage with a selected quote as well as a one-page biography. According to the author, many of these individuals "can trace their path to peace from childhood – a challenge they overcame, an event that influenced them, or an individual who spurred them on to find the inner strength to do good."

      Grades: 4th to 8th

  Peace Begins With You

by Katherine Scholes

PAPERBACK
Multicultural

Published in association with Sierra Club Books, "Peace Begins With You" presents the complex concept of peace in simple terms, complemented by realistic, full-color illustrations of people interacting around the globe. The author explains how all people have basic needs and also different personal wants which at times conflict, causing tensions that can be personal, local, national, global or environmental. However, positive resolutions are proposed that can avoid winner/loser outcomes -- listening to each other, accepting personal differences, cooperating and mediating. The author encourages children to become peacemakers through their daily actions and to help protect peace by treating everyone fairly and "living in peace with the land".

      Grades: 1st to 5th

  Peboan and Seegwun

by Charles Larry

PAPERBACK
Experience of Nature
Multicultural 

"An old man sits alone in his lodge at the end of winter, listening to the winds blowing across the hard snow. One day, he has a young visitor with whom he shares a pipe. The two also share stories of their magical natural powers. The old man can make the leaves fall from the trees. The young man can unlock the streams, filling the air with musical laughter. As spring arrives, the youthful Seegwun, the Spirit of Spring, recognizes his elder host as none other than Peboan, Old Man Winter. Strikingly detailed illustrations animate the seasons of the North Woods in this Ojibwa story, which demonstrates how opposites like spring and winter, and youth and old age, are all part of the same spectrum." From Bringing the World Alive: A Bibliography of Nature Stories for Children, published by The Orion Society.

        Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  The Story of Thanksgiving

by Robert Merrill Bartlett

HARDCOVER
Multicultural
Experience of Nature 

Focusing on the Pilgrims celebration of Thanksgiving and providing a brief historical perspective of the roots of harvest festivals in ancient Greek, Roman, Jewish and early European cultures, Bartlett describes the background of the settlers in Plymouth, their religious persecution in England and the assistance that was provided to them by the Wampanoags in America. The celebration of the first Thanksgiving feast is described and the later establishment of Thanksgiving as a national holiday in 1863. Colorful pastel drawings complement the text and a recipe for Pumpkin Muffins as well as the music and words to "Over the River and Through the Woods" is also included. The author was a descendent of the original Pilgrims of Plymouth and presents a European perspective of Thanksgiving that can be contrasted to the Wampanoag perspective of the feast in 1621: A New Look at Thanksgiving by Grace and Bruchac.

      Grades: 1st to 4th

  Tales of the Shimmering Sky

by Susan Milord

PAPERBACK
Field Guides & Activity Books
Multicultural 

Ten global folktales about the sky are accompanied by activities for children to explore imaginatively and scientifically the mysteries of day and night, sun, moon, stars, weather and seasons. This journey takes children through the ethnic tales of: The Division of Day and Night (Creek, Native America), The Twelve Months (Slovakia), The Hare in the Moon (India), The Moon in Safekeeping (Jewish Faith, Europe), Great Bear (Micmac, Canada), The Boastful Star (Polynesia), The Whirling Wind (Mexico), The Return of the Clouds (Zuni, Native America), After the Rain (Kenya) and The Theft of Thor's Hammer (Scandinavia). Each of the tales is complemented by intriguing activities to explore the science of the sky as well as arts and crafts, cultures, history, cooking, games and math.

      Grades: Preschool & up

  Thirteen Moons on Turtle's Back

by Joseph Bruchac

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Multicultural 

"Thirteen Moons on Turtle's Back: A Native American Year of Moons" is a celebration of the seasons of the year and of the majesty of nature presented through a beautifully illustrated collection of poems based on Native legends. In many of the Native American cultures, each of the thirteen moons of the year holds its own story like the 13 sections of the shell of a turtle that is believed to contain the meaning of the cycles of the moon.

The thirteen moons with respective poems adapted from Native American legends include: 1. Moon Popping of Trees (Northern Cheyenne), 2. Baby Bear Moon (Potawatomi), 3. Maple Sugar Moon (Anishinabe), 4. Frog Moon (Cree), 5. Budding Moon (Huron), 6. Strawberry Moon (Seneca), 7. Moon When Acorns Appear (Pomo), 8. Moon of Wild Rice (Menominee), 9. Moose-Calling Moon (Micmac), 10. Moon of Falling Leaves (Cherokee), 11. Moon When Deer Drop Their Horns (Winnebago), 12. Moon When Wolves Run Together (Lakota Sioux), and, 13. Big Moon (Abenaki).

        Grades: 1st to 4th

  The Way to Start a Day

by Byrd Baylor

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Multicultural 

The exultant beginning to a new day is evoked through cultures of the past and contemporary ones throughout the world depicted in lyrical text and drawings showing cavemen, Peruvians, Egyptians, Africans and Chinese welcoming the sun. The poetic beauty of a sunrise could inspire a song.

A Caldecott Honor Book.

        Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Winter Solstice

by Ellen Jackson

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Multicultural 

Years ago throughout many cultures, the shortest day of the year was marked for its darkness by rituals and ceremonies. While providing the scientific explanation of the winter solstice, Jackson focuses on the folklore of the ancient Scots, Britons, Romans and Scandinavians marking the winter solstice as well as the sun ceremonies of Native Americans -- of which certain traditions are carried into our modern celebrations of Christmas and Hanukah. A Solstice Story, adapted from a Cherokee tale of creation that explains the meaning of the winter solstice, is also included in this fascinating picture book.

See also:
Jean Craighead George's Dear Rebecca, Winter is Here -- a grandmother writes to her granddaughter on the winter solstice about the seasonal changes in nature.

See also by Ellen Jackson:
The Summer Solstice
The Spring Equinox
The Autumn Equinox

        Grades: 2nd to 4th