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World Cultures

All About KoreaBowler, Ann Martin, illus. by Soosoonam Barg. All About Korea: Stories, Songs, Crafts and More
Gr. 4-6 64 pp. Tuttle 2011
Moore, Willamarie, illustrated by Kazumi Wilds. All About Japan: Stories, Songs, Crafts and More
Gr. 4-6 64 pp. Tuttle 2011

Each book provides brief information about history, language, religion, celebrations, food, homes, traditional clothing, the arts, and more. Folktales, songs, recipes, and crafts are included. Japan is more kid-friendly, with cheerful cartoon art, an upbeat text, and a pair of child characters (one rural, one urban) speaking directly to readers about their daily lives. Reading list, websites. Ind.
Subjects: Middle East and Asia; Korea; Japan

Kids of KabulEllis, Deborah Kids of Kabul: Living Bravely Through a Never-Ending War
Middle school, High school 144 pp. Groundwood 2012

Twenty-seven children and teens (ages ten to seventeen) living in modern Afghanistan share their stories and their hopes and fears as they consider their futures in a war-torn country. Readers who seek understanding of other cultures, specifically through the experiences of youth, will learn much through the eyes of these children. Reading list, websites. Glos.
Subjects: Middle East and Asia; Children; Afghanistan; History, Modern–War in Afghanistan

BrazilForest, Christopher Brazil
Middle school 144 pp. ABDO 2011
Karlsson, Val Egypt
Middle school 144 pp. ABDO 2011
Pelleschi, Andrea China
Middle school 144 pp. ABDO 2011
Wittekind, Erika Argentina
Middle school 144 pp. ABDO 2011

Countries of the World series. These travel guide-like volumes each begin with a tourist’s view of the title country (e.g., in Egypt: “You have just stepped out of a time machine–or so it seems…You have just arrived in Cairo.”). Chapters cover all the expected details for report-writers: geography, flora and fauna, history, people, culture, politics, economics, and contemporary life. Vivid photographs and useful maps in an eye-pleasing design enliven the presentation. Reading list, timeline. Bib., glos., ind.
Subjects: Central and South America; Brazil; Africa; Egypt; Middle East and Asia; China; Argentina

If You Lived HereLaroche, Giles If You Lived Here: Houses of the World
Gr. K-3 32 pp. Houghton 2011

Laroche’s bas-relief cut-paper collages illustrate sixteen different dwellings that people call home, from log cabins and tree houses to pueblos and yurts. Each is introduced with a paragraph that begins with the phrase, “If you lived here,” enticing readers to imagine how it might be. Facts and additional comments on each page stimulate curiosity and expand and broaden readers’ worldview.
Subjects: Customs and Holidays; Dwellings; Multicultural books

If the World Were a VillageSmith, David J. If the World Were a Village: A Book About the World’s People
Gr. K-3 32 pp. Kids Can 2011 New ed. (2002)

Illustrated by Shelagh Armstrong. This updated second edition asks readers to imagine “the whole population of the world as a village of just 100 people,” with each person representing sixty-nine million people (it was sixty-two million in the previous edition). Smith covers topics such as nationalities, languages, food, etc. Accurately detailed acrylic art illustrates the thought-provoking book.
Subjects: Social Issues; Economics; Population

From the October 2012 issue of Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book.

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