Early Elementary Books

Theme: People of the World

Back to School - (ISBN: 1570913838)

by Maya Ajmera

What do children in African wear when they go to school? What do schools look like in Tibet? How do the children feel? Take a photographic journey of schools, students, and teachers from all over the world.

Children from Australia to Zimbabwe: A Photographic Journey Around the World - (ISBN: 1570914788)

by Maya Ajmera

In this beautiful photographic essay, Ajmera creates a very different take on a children’s alphabet book by picturing children from 26 countries. Look at your family photographs and try to imagine what children from other countries could learn by being able to see your pictures.

Dia's Story Cloth - The Hmong People's Journey of Freedom - (ISBN: 0780779010)

by Dia Cha

The story of the Hmong people is told with illustrations from their famous pandau embroidery.

How My Parents Learned to Eat - (ISBN: 0395442354)

by Ina R. Friedman

The narrator’s American father had to learn how to eat small pieces of meat, vegetables and rice with chopsticks; her Japanese mother couldn’t decide whether to use a fork, knife or spoon with her meat and mashed potatoes. Stories of how each parent learned to use the eating tools of the other’s culture recreates the tale of how their love developed.

The Librarian of Basra: A True Story from Iraq - (ISBN: 0152054456)

by Jeanette Winter

A young librarian in a war zone tries to save books and other library materials despite many dangers. How does her struggle to save her cultural heritage compare to what the librarians in New Orleans did to keep computers, books, and other library materials available to the displaced citizens there after Katrina?

To Be a Kid - (ISBN: 0881068411)

by Maya Ajmera and John D. Ivanko

Activities children from all around the globe share are beautifully pictured in this appealing collection of photographs. Discuss with your family what sports and games are similar to those you play; also think about which new ones you might like to try.

Activities for this Theme

Let your child get his/her own public library card. They’re free!!


Visit a Chinese or Japanese restaurant or try a recipe at home, and learn to eat with chopsticks!


Look at the activities section of your newspaper or local web site to see how many ethnic activities are mentioned. Try to visit one which interests you.


Look at an international map or mapsite to see where the countries are located that you are reading about.


Make a Japanese fan.