Preschool and Picture Books

Theme: People of the World

A Year on Our Farm - (ISBN: 1862914923)

by Penny Matthews

Enjoy this picture book as it goes through the tasks and seasons of work on an Australian farm. The family’s children join right in the work the rest of the family does. Talk about some ways your child can work alongside you in day-to-day tasks. Draw pictures of how he/she can help.

Bee-Bim Bop! - (ISBN: 0618265112)

by Linda Sue Park and Ho Baek Lee

Children in all cultures love helping their families prepare food for the table, and the Korean culture is no exception. What’s bee bim bop? It means 'mix, mix rice,' and the round-faced star of the book helps her mother shop and prepare the feast, all the while singing the rhyme, 'Hungry hungry hungry for some BEE-BIM BOP!' You and your child can sing this refrain while enjoying watching the preparations for their family dinner. Recipe is included in two forms, one for the child and one for the parent!

Grandfather Tang’s Story - (ISBN: 0517885581)

by Ann Tompert

Children love puzzles and folk tales. This Chinese story features a grandfather using ancient tangrams to tell a story. The seven squares that make up each tangram are rearranged throughout the book to create the illustrations. At the end of the book, readers can try out their own tangram design.

If the Shoe Fits - (ISBN: 0399234209)

by Gary Soto

The small son in a Mexican American family stashes his cherished new shoes in the closet against the time when he really needs them, finally free of the stigma of having to wear hand me downs. When the time arrives for him to use them, he is forced to hand them down to an uncle who needs them for his new job. How do members of your family feel about hand me downs? What kind of family closeness does sharing treasured clothing show?

Lola at the Library - (ISBN: 978-1580891134 )

by Anna Mcquinn

African American Lola’s favorite part of the week is the day she gets to go to the library. She values the entire day, from preparing her backpack and picking up her library card to finding the books she loves to check out and take home. Of course, she revels in the time she spends with her mother at home, hearing the new books read to her. This book also comes in Spanish: Lola En La Biblioteca. If you already have a library card for your family, visit the library again and talk about the section that has your children’s favorite books. If you don’t have a card, visit the local library to unlock the treasures waiting there for you.

Mama does the Mambo - (ISBN: 078680646X)

by K. Leiner

After Mama stops dancing when her husband dies, Sofia is delighted to have her mother join her at a carnival dance in their Cuban community.

Palazzo Inverso - (ISBN: 978-0547239996)

by D. B. Johnson

Painter’s apprentice Mauk eagerly follows the lines of his master’s paintings, and the text follows his journeys. Based loosely on the work of M.C. Escher, the illustrations for this book feature visual tricks and altered perspective. At the end of the book, turn the book over to read from back to front. The same illustrations give a totally new point of view. What else have you looked at upside down to see things differently?

Silent Lotus - (ISBN: 978-0374466466)

by Jeanne M. Lee

A young Cambodian girl who cannot speak or hear finds a way to express herself after she journeys to a city and sees the temple dancers. With the help of the king, she begins training and hopes someday her hands will speak for her as she practices the ancient Cambodian art. Enjoy the exotic scenes and natural offerings of this little-known land as you follow the girl through the book. Try to place your own hands in the same positions the dancers use.

You and Me Together: Moms, Dads, and Kids Around the World - (ISBN: 0792282973)

by Barbara Kerley

Travel around the world in a book and enjoy the photos of families from all over the globe. What do other families do together for fun? Look in newspapers and magazines for other photographs and stories about international families.

Count Your Way through Ireland - (ISBN: 978-0876148723)

How Come the Best Clues are always in the Garbage? - (ISBN: 978-1553375838)

by Linda Bailey

The Bunyip of Berkeley's Creek - (ISBN: 0140501266)

by Jenny Wagner

The Inuksuk Book - (ISBN: 978-1897066133 )

by Mary Wallace

The Snowy Day/ Un Dia De Nieve - (ISBN: 978-0874995633)

by Ezra Jack Keats

Activities for this Theme

Make a tangram with your children, following the directions in Grandfather Tang’s Story.


Learn how to say hello in several languages


Cook an international dish that your friends or relatives might have enjoyed.


Ask an international neighbor or school acquaintance to tell you about food in their first country.


Read about Latinos in history.