As program director for GATE’s Learning & EduCare Project, I have always wanted to expand our educational horizons around the earth. This challenge is now achievable.
During a child development class, I saw a TED Talk by Anne Morgan. She shared desire to expand the horizons of her personal bookshelves. In this talk, she spoke of her journey to read a book from each country of the world and the challenges she faced in taking on that task. Anne’s talk inspired me to do my own version of her challenge.
I’m a multiethnic early childhood educator, so my challenge is – read and add to our nonprofit library a quality children’s literature book from every country around the earth. Of course, not just any children’s book will do. Quality criteria must be applied since I am an educator first and foremost, with experience studying multicultural literature and leaning hard into early STEM. Chosen book criteria are the five listed.
MULTICULTURAL CHILDREN’S LITERATURE CRITERIA:
- Ideally, picture books depicting scenes, people and experiences from that country.
- Also if possible, books avoid story retells from outside cultures (i.e. Cinder-Ella).
- Authors not limited to in country residents, but cultural depictions must be authentic.
- Books should avoid stereotypes of people, yet accurate negative imagery is part of life and welcomed.
- Family member roles and lifestyles are genuine, accurate and complex.
COUNTRY and REGIONS:
List of countries for this challenge was simple to determine. For instance, although http://www.listofcountriesoftheworld.com has over 250 countries listed, some are ancient civilizations, unoccupied by humans, or regions within other sovereign borders. The United Nations has most commonly recognized list of sovereign states, currently at just over 190. However, a few countries spread across vast regions of the globe – specifically, Australia, China, Russia and United States. In fairness, various regions within these countries will be included later as separate entries.
Antigua and Barbuda
Bosnia & Herzegovina
Ctrl African Republic
DPR of Korea
DR of Congo
Lao People’s Rep.
Macedonia- X Yugoslav Rep.
Papua New Guinea
Republic of Korea
Republic of Moldova
Saint Kitts and Nevis
St Vincent & Grenadine
Sao Tome & Principe
Syrian Arab Republic
Trinidad and Tobago
United Arab Emirates
U K of Great Britain & North Ireland
U Republic of Tanzania
U States of America
This is my challenge. You can help.
- Join me by expanding your reads to include diverse cultures.
- Let me know what you read to your children in comments.
- Post comments on book suggestions.
- Donate a good multicultural children’s book to us by mail.
- Watch for GATE’s YouTube videos where I present Multiethnic Enviro Ed On Our World.