Oakland Public Library “Children’s Room” librarian, Nina Lindsay, has an article published in the School Library Journal called “Bringing Home the World: A librarian puts forth a shopping list for international literature” (SLJ 2/1/2006), where she talks about the need for more children’s international literature in translation on publisher’s catalogs and in everyone’s bookshelves. She encourages one’s bookshelf to be like a food-rich refrigerator, packed with a variety of goodies: “Our reading lives should be like this: varied, changing, exciting––foreign.”
I love when a librarian can mix children’s books with food for thought!
Read her article and then go ahead and add some new, foreign flavors to your children’s bookshelf. And feel free to look through our refrigerator for ideas.
Author and storyteller Norah Dooley‘s four-part series of “Everybody” books, illustrated by Peter Thornton, explores the similarities between different cultures through food. The titles in the series, published by Carolrhoda/Lerner are:Everybody Cooks Rice, Everybody Bakes Bread, Everybody Serves Soup andEverybody Brings Noodles. Widely read in homes, libraries and schools throughout the United States, these stories follow young Carrie as she discovers a strong sense of community – and the role food plays in bringing her and her neighbors together – while going around her multiethnic inner-city neighborhood in search of something else (her brother, a rolling pin, a gift for her mom). The neighborhood featured is the author’s own: “Most of the characters in Everybody Bakes Bread and Everybody Cooks Rice are based on my friends and their families. The mutual affection and respect we have for one another is, to me, the most important ‘ingredient’ in these books.” Recipes are included at the end of each title.