Multicultural Book Challenge

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.

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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.

Afghanistan
Albania
Algeria
Andorra
Angola
Antigua and Barbuda
Argentina
Armenia
Australia
Austria
Azerbaijan

Bahamas
Bahrain
Bangladesh
Barbados
Belarus
Belgium
Belize
Benin
Bhutan
Bolivia

Bosnia & Herzegovina
Botswana
Brazil
Brunei Darussalam
Bulgaria
Burkina Faso
Burundi

Cabo Verde
Cambodia
Cameroon
Canada
Ctrl African Republic
Chad
Chile
China
Colombia
Comoros
Congo
Costa Rica
Côte D’Ivoire
Croatia

Cuba
Cyprus
Czech Republic

DPR of Korea
DR of Congo
Denmark
Djibouti
Dominica
Dominican Republic

Ecuador
Egypt
El Salvador
Equatorial Guinea
Eritrea
Estonia
Ethiopia

Fiji
Finland
France

Gabon
Gambia
Georgia
Germany
Ghana
Greece
Grenada
Guatemala
Guinea
Guinea Bissau
Guyana

Haiti
Honduras
Hungary
Iceland
India
Indonesia
Iran
Iraq
Ireland
Israel
Italy

Jamaica
Japan
Jordan
Kazakhstan
Kenya
Kiribati
Kuwait
Kyrgyzstan

Lao People’s Rep.
Latvia
Lebanon
Lesotho
Liberia
Libya
Liechtenstein
Lithuania
Luxembourg

Macedonia- X Yugoslav Rep.
Madagascar
Malawi
Malaysia
Maldives

Mali
Malta
Marshall Islands
Mauritania
Mauritius
Mexico
Micronesia
Monaco
Mongolia
Montenegro
Morocco
Mozambique
Myanmar

Namibia
Nauru
Nepal
Netherlands
New Zealand
Nicaragua
Niger
Nigeria
Norway

Oman
Pakistan
Palau
Panama
Papua New Guinea
Paraguay
Peru
Philippines
Poland
Portugal

Qatar
Republic of Korea
Republic of Moldova
Romania
Russian Federation
Rwanda

Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Lucia
St Vincent & Grenadine
Samoa
San Marino
Sao Tome & Principe

Saudi Arabia
Senegal
Serbia
Seychelles
Sierra Leone
Singapore
Slovakia
Slovenia
Solomon Islands
Somalia
South Africa
South Sudan
Spain
Sri Lanka
Sudan
Suriname
Swaziland
Sweden
Switzerland
Syrian Arab Republic

Tajikistan
Thailand
Timor-Leste
Togo
Tonga
Trinidad and Tobago
Tunisia
Turkey
Turkmenistan
Tuvalu

Uganda
Ukraine
United Arab Emirates
U K of Great Britain & North Ireland
U Republic of Tanzania
U States of America
Uruguay
Uzbekistan

Vanuatu
Venezuela
Viet Nam
Yemen
Zambia
Zimbabwe

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.

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