This past week we read about Asia! (My girls didn’t feel very cooperative for the picture, haha!) I am so behind on this, but getting closer! ;-) This post is going to be shorter I think because I need to just finish it… it’s been sitting here half a week and I’ve just not had the motivation or time to finish it.
(All italic descriptions from Amazon.com, and asterisks mark my own thoughts on the book.)
The Paper Crane
by Molly Bang
Business returns to a once-prosperous restaurant when a mysterious stranger pays for his meal with a magical paper crane that comes alive and dances. The Paper Crane is illustrated with cut-paper collages and paintings. It is a wonderful book to use with children learning about patterns in storytelling.
** This wasn’t an obviously Japanese story, though it does feature origami. But, we enjoyed the story nonetheless. I also really liked the artwork. I can’t say it was my favorite book, but the girls aren’t as bothered by stories where nothing really happens. ;-)
The Monkey and the Crocodile: A Jataka Tale from India
by Paul Galdone
Twice the clever little monkey foils the attempts of the crocodile to capture him.
** Caroline absolutely adored this book. She spotted it when I checked it out from the library, and carried it around for several days before we read it. In fact, you can see in the picture at the top of this post that she didn’t even want to pose with the book – she just wanted to read it. Ha! She loved the monkeys and had me read it to her twice in a row, cracking up about the silly monkey and silly crocodile. So, I guess it was a hit. :-)
by Jeanne M. Lee
Although unable to speak or hear, lovely Lotus learns to perform the intricate story dances of the Cambodian court ballet.
** This story is about a little deaf girl who is lonely because she is unable to communicate with the other children. Her parents take her to the Cambodian court, and the little girl learns the art of expressing herself through dance. It’s a cool story about disabilities and also about traditional dances. My girls loved the pretty costume that Lotus wears at the end.
by Shirin Yim Bridges
Ruby is unlike most little girls in old China. Instead of aspiring to get married, Ruby is determined to attend university when she grows up, just like the boys in her family. Based upon the inspirational story of the author’s grandmother and accompanied by richly detailed illustrations, Ruby’s Wish is an engaging portrait of a young girl who’s full of ambition and the family who rewards her hard work and courage.
** I really liked this story, and I always appreciate chances to show my girls how being able to get an education and a career, if they want, is not always something that women have been able to do. Savannah doesn’t seem to quite understand this concept, but I am sure she will someday. The girls did enjoy seeing the Chinese calligraphy, which reminded them of the Baghdad calligraphy we read about last week.