Megumi’s First Trip to Kyoto {Multicultural Book Review}

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Disclaimer:

I have been given this book in exchange for a review. However, all opinions are honest and my own. 

Working with Multicultural Kid Blogs is great in many ways: not only I get to meet some wonderful bloggers from around the world and learn from them; but I also get to review some of the most interesting multicultural books.

Today I’d like to share with you a book we read with my children called Megumi’s First Trip to Kyoto by Alexandra Parsons (click the link for more information).

In the book a young girl, Megumi, goes on a trip with her grandfather. On the way she plays an imagination game with him, introducing numbers in Japanese to the reader.

The whole book is filled with  useful Japanese vocabulary which could be interesting to children learning about Japan, or preparing to take a trip there.

While counting and playing the imagination game, Megumi and her grandpa open the world of Japanese culture to the reader: its temples, its flag, its traditional scenery and nature.

It was fun trying to pronounce the words and then comparing our pronunciation to the one we found online – so different! But nevertheless, a lesson to learn, and my daughter, who speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese, was quite interested in Japanese as well.

We really enjoyed reading this book. The illustrations seem simply but leave a deep impression on the reader.

In order to get a little big more familiar with Japan and Kyoto, we found them on the maps.

Then, we looked at some interesting facts, craft and ideas about, and related to Japan over at my fellow bloggers’ sites:

Japanese Sensory Garden from All Done Monkey

Japan Collection from Glittering Muffins

Books About Japan from Kid World Citizen

All About Life in Japan from Melibelle in Tokyo

We also made some fans from paper and decorated them.

And then, we made Japanese Udon to complete our evenings of taking a virtual tour to Japan with Megumi and her grandpa.

Have you ever been to Japan? Share with us your experience!

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About the author:

Alexandra Parsons is a Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund Scholar, and this book incorporates various aspects of the Japanese culture that she witnessed and participated in during her visit in 2005.  She is an English teacher and Learning Specialist at a private school and lives with her family and two dogs in Florida.

Dances of India: Book Tour {Book Review}

Today I am sharing with you a review of the book called Dances of India!

  Maya and Leela book cover

Disclosure: I was given a free copy of the book by the author in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own. Logos and book pages are shared with the permission of the author and are not to be used for commercial purpose without the author’s permission.

Since I was a little girl I was taken by the beauty of India’s dance art. I dreamed all my life that I could study one dance style professionally but it wasn’t meant to be and I taught myself some elements of traditional dance styles and used to perform what is called Contemporary Indian dance for a while. My heart still skips a beat when I hear beautiful Indian music and listen to Indian songs.
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Hence, when the opportunity came up to review Dances of India, I was really excited: I had a chance to introduce this bit of my world to my children!
Dances of India is the first of the books in the Little Loka Series (™). Two elephant sisters Maya and Leela give children a multicultural experience by traveling around the world and introducing cultural elements of the countries they visit.little-lokas-logo_400px-small_web
The book is designed for younger children from birth to 4 but my 6 year old enjoyed it as much!
We loved how colorful the book is – the illustrations are very beautiful and attractive. And the words and descriptions are fairly simple and pass on the joy and excitement to the reader.
The book introduces the elements and the spirit of Indian dances and I honestly felt like getting up, turning on the music and dancing – that much joy there is in the book itself!
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You can purchase this book directly from the website’s store or over at Amazon! This would be a great multicultural gift to the global citizen you are bringing up in your home!

A Month of Book Reviews: Meera Sriram’s Books

Being a part of KBN and MKB, I’ve had the honour and the pleasure of meeting virtually some great authors who write about nature, craft, yoga, children’s activities and more. Last year we received books from 2 authors for review and earlier I was given an opportunity to be one of the first ones to read and help edit/review some ebooks from other authors. All in all, I am happy to dedicate the month of March to Book Reviews – something I’ve never done before on my blog. I hope you get inspired and interested in these books as well and support the authors by purchasing their books which can become great resources and interesting reads in your own families.
(This post contains some affiliate links. All opinions are my own and are written based on my personal impressions and experiences. All pictures are used with special permission of Meera Sriram – the author – and are watermarked for the protection of the copyright).
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review

Today I would like to introduce to you 2 books by Meera Sriram and Praba Ram: Bijoy and The Big River and Dinaben and the Lions Gir.
Meera Sriram is a fellow Multicultural Kid Blogger and she writes children’s books mostly about Nature, the animal world and traditions of India. Having a special connection with India myself I was very happy to receive Meera’s books for review. It is also a great chance to introduce the country I hold so dear to my own children.

Dinaben and the Lions of Gir:

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At the beginning of the book and at the end there is a call to protect the forests and the lions who are a part of mother Nature and need to be taken care of. There are also common facts about lions which is a great educational material for children and adults both.
Gir is a forest in Gujarat. The book which is filled with wonderful photographs, introduces daily life of Dinaben – a Madhari woman whose village is a part of the Gir forest. It tells how what Dinaben does every day – her beautiful craft and how she makes ghee and curd from milk.
At the same time it tells us about endangered animals that lives in that forest –  Asiatic lions. Their natural habitat is in the forests of India and they can’t be found in the wild anywhere else in the world.
In simple words the authors describe simple life of the villagers that live near by the forest and the harmony between the animals and the villagers. As hard as it is to pass the true spirit of their “union”, it is  truly felt in the book.
Looking at the images and being able to read Hindi (which I can only read now!) brought back so many warm memories of India and I wished like going back and spending more time among the amazing people of this country.
We thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and looking at real pictures of real animals and people.
I would recommend this book for younger children as well as older children as it is both interesting and educational for various age groups. I also enjoyed the fact that the book is written in 2 languages: English and Hindi. And if you follow the links for purchasing the books, you will see that it has been published in more languages.
You can purchase this book through Tulika Books or through Amazon: Dinaben and the Lions of Gir

Bijoy and the Big River:

Bijoy

The book takes place in a state of India called Assam. I was actually very happy to read more about this state as I have some friends who are originally from there and taking a peek at the life of the Assamis was very interesting!
Bijoy is a boy who lives near Brahmaputra – the Grand Old River, one of the biggest rivers in India. He lives in the village of fishermen and he enjoys swimming and watching fishermen work.
Once again, the book is filled with real-life photographs and describes the life of the villagers in Bijoy’s village. It introduces some of the wild life and endangered animals in this area (for example, one-horned rhino).
For my children the highlight of the book was reading about eri silkworms: what they eat, their life cycle and how the silk is made into beautiful material. At some point my 5 year old asked me if this is where the Sleeping Beauty lived (when she saw the weaver!)
Besides the general story already filled with facts about the villagers life, there are small notes on each page that give more insights into words and terms. Every sentence is written in simple words and if some words are harder to understand – there is a little note to help explain what most of those words mean.
Since the book is meant to pass on a child’s vision of the life around him, it is quite appealing to children as well as they get to see the life in his village through his eyes.
While this book may not be very suitable for children under 3 years old, my toddler still enjoyed looking at numerous pictures in it and she could sit through most of the reading. My 5 year old enjoyed reading it together with me!
You can purchase these books through Tulika Books
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I would like to thank Meera for giving us the opportunity to read and review her books. Please follow the links under each review if you wish to purchase these books!
Learn more about Meera and her books:
Meera’s Biography
Meera’s Books
Meera’s Books Blog