Books by Theme

It's a Small World After All

You don't need a passport to explore the world! This collection of recommended books for kids ages 0-9 brings the world to you. Among them is the true story of a Chinese American who becomes a matador in Spain as well as a book that reveals all the things first graders around the world do with their lost tooth. It's a small world after all!

Quotable Quotes: The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you'll go. -- Dr. Seuss

All the Way to Lhasa: A Tale from Tibet

By: Barbara Berger
Genre: Fiction, Fantasy, Fairy Tales and Folk Tales, Myths and Legends
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

There's a saying that "slow but steady wins the race." In this richly illustrated book, the saying is recast as a Tibetan tale about a boy and his reliable yak and an impatient rider on a speedy horse, both on their way to the holy city of Lhasa.

El Chino

By: Allen Say
Genre: Nonfiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

This remarkable story is based on the life of Billy Wong, a Chinese-American who travels to Europe, becomes fascinated with bullfighting, and decides to become a matador. Eventually, Billy's determination and recognition of what makes him unique helps him realize his dream. Luminous watercolors illustrate this sensitive picture book biography.

Get Ready for Gabi: A Crazy Mixed Up Spanglish Day

By: Marisa Montes
Illustrated by: Joe Cepeda
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Third grade Gabi speaks Spanish at home and English at school and sometimes "Spanglish" everywhere. Spanish and English combine naturally in Gabi's narration as the irrepressible, likable girl befriends a kindergartner who has moved from Nicaragua and as she controls her temper when teased by a classmate.

Head, Body, Legs: A Story from Liberia

By: Won-Ldy Paye, Margaret Lippert
Illustrated by: Julie Paschkis
Genre: Fiction, Fantasy, Fairy Tales and Folk Tales
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

A head by itself can’t do much – until he meets arms, body, and legs. Together they discover how delicious life can be. Bold colors and broad forms help create the humor in this engaging creation story from the author’s Dan tribe of Liberia.

I Am America

By: Charles Smith
Genre: Poetry
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Look how different we are and see how much we are the same! Readers will surely see themselves in the pages of this book, which is full of color photographs of children's faces. The rhyming text and images celebrate the tapestry of cultures, religions, and physical appearances of children throughout the United States.

Mr. Popper's Penguins

By: Richard Atwater, Florence Atwater
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

When Admiral Drake sends a penguin named Captain Cook to the Popper family, Mr. Popper's dreams of seeing the world begin to come true. Humor abounds in this early Newbery Honor book as readers follow Mr. Popper and his penguins to Antarctica.

Sitti's Secret

By: Naomi Nye
Illustrated by: Nancy Carpenter
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Warmly evoking the universality of a child's relationship with her grandmother, this book follows a girl's journey to a small village in Palestine, where she comes to know her grandmother Sitti. Once back in the United States, the child recalls the sights, sounds, and culture of Palestine as well as the commonalities between the Arabic and English speaking worlds.

Stories to Solve: Folktales from Around the World

By: George Shannon
Illustrated by: Peter Sís
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

As this book shows, brain teasers are popular everywhere! The short tales, riddles, and more are from many different countries. Readers try to figure out how the solution was found. The answers are provided and some are even embedded in decorative black and white line drawings.

Throw Your Tooth on the Roof: Tooth Traditions from Around the World

By: Selby Beeler
Illustrated by: G. Brian Karas
Genre: Fiction, Fairy Tales and Folk Tales
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Lighthearted illustrations provide just the right tone for brief looks at what happens when children lose their teeth in various places around the world. The title indicates what is done in Korea while an American child awaits the tooth fairy's exchange. A map provides a quick glimpse of this intriguing, quick world tour just right for browsing.

Tortillas and Lullabies

By: Lynn Reiser
Illustrated by: Valentes Corazones
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Pre-Reader

A young girl tells how her great-grandmother, grandmother, and mother perform an everyday activity, whether gathering flowers or making tortillas, and how every time it was the same but different. The vivid illustrations evoke Central American folk art and complement the graceful text presented in Spanish and English.

Proceeds from the sale of books purchased at help support the Reading Rockets project. Thank you!

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Rachael Walker
March 23, 2017

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