Last week we finished our Read the World Summer Book Club. It was based on the book “Give Your Child the World: Raising Globally Minded Kids One Book at a Time” by Jamie Martin. We used a chapter a week to go through different areas of the world, selecting books to read and activities to do as we went.
Some weeks we were more into it than others. Some books were better than others and sparked more conversation and exploration. All of it was an exercise in learning about the wider world. Geography, language, customs, history. We talked about all of it through the stories told in the books we chose, all of which were recommended in Jamie’s book.
We began with gusto with Multicultural week, focusing on exploring lots of different cultures all over the world. We picked several books with this emphasis, and started out coloring each country that we read about on the map that was provided in one of Jamie’s first posts about the book club.
After doing this for a few days, the girls lost interest in the maps, which we dropped, but not the stories.
We rolled right into the second week focused on Africa with books and movies from the library about Kenya and Mali and Madagascar. We read about cassava plants and how tapioca is made from the starch of these plants, so I got tapioca pudding for them to try. They didn’t like it (neither do I), but they found it “interesting,” for sure.
After Africa, we moved to the chapter on Europe. There were lots of books in the Europe section of Jamie’s book (and the Asia section) that we have read already, but there were still plenty to choose from that were new to us. One that my girls and I especially enjoyed was “Boxes for Katje.” I had grand plans to make something European for dinner one night that week, maybe from one of my French or Spanish cookbooks, but I flopped on that one.
Next up was North America. Jamie suggested lots of good books, but our favorite that we read was “Jingle Dancer,” about the Native American traditional dance performed in a dress with metal “jingles” on it. We ended up going down a YouTube rabbit hole after this book, watching video after video of jingle dancing and various other types of traditional Native American dance. It was absolutely fascinating, and the girls just kept begging for more.
Our zeal for the book club hit its low point during the Middle East week, when we only read one book from those I checked out of the library. We quickly rebounded with Asia week though. I don’t know what it is about reading books set in Asia, but we have always loved reading about this region of the world. From our old books, “The Story about Ping” and “A Pair of Red Clogs” to the many new ones we read during this week of the book club, we just really enjoy the richness of Asian culture as we experience it through picture books.
One of our favorites during this week was “Bee-bim Bop!” which included a recipe that we promptly made together, and which led to the girls’ first experience with Korean food (including kimchee!!).
The other favorite of the week was this:
The original name of this book was Little Black Sambo, and my grandma used to read it to me when I was little. I didn’t realize this was the same story when I reserved it from the library, but inside the jacket it explained the original title. The memory of my Gram reading it came rushing back, and I was so excited. I can vividly remember the distinct voices she used for Little Black Sambo and the tigers. I tried to replicate them in my reading of the story, but I didn’t do it justice. My girls enjoyed it anyway, of course, and so did I.
The next week was Latin America week, during which I picked a couple of books set in Brazil and made a lame attempt at an Olympic connection, but because we don’t have TV and weren’t really able to watch much of the Olympics, it didn’t really resonate.
And finally, Australia, Oceania, Polar Regions, which we wrapped up last week. I found these two reading “Diary of a Wombat” in our swing set tower the other day.
As I walked away after taking this photo, I heard them bust out in giggles over the silliness of the story. I love sharing special moments over books with my girls, and even more seeing them sharing the love of books with each other.