Culture is an inescapable part of our world. Even if we never experience another culture first hand, we are entrenched in our own culture. It’s hard to imagine what another culture may be like from the comfort of our own home, but that may very well be the only way we get to experience another culture. While I think traveling is more valuable, exposing our kids to different cultures at home is important as well. We typically choose to do that through carefully selected books and add-on activities.
The book we received for Multicultural Book Day is called Starr and the High Seas Wedding Drama.
Tips for introducing culture through books:
- Find books that are written by people from that culture
- Pick out a part of the story to bring to life – a dance, a craft, art project, recipe
- Investigate! Find more books or movies that are well through out
- Ask questions. Many people love to talk about their native cultures. If you show respect, they may just talk your ear off.
- Research their history. Every culture has a history and that history will play a large part in their culture
One of my favorite things to do, and something I think I’m fairly good at, is bringing an aspect of a story to life. Picking out some small detail and recreating it. Books are great and reading is amazing but I want these stores to be even more magical for my kids.
When it comes to multicultural reading, I think it is even more important. As humans, we tend to stick with what is familiar. Many people do not experience all the amazing parts of our culture let alone other cultures. There are so many cultures out there. Reading books from other cultures is an amazing way to introduce new ideas to kids.
Flower Girl World Multicultural Books
We were introduced to the Flower Girl World books through Multicultural Book Day. I was excited to receive a book that would be perfect for Royal because he needs a bit of encouragement to start reading chapter books by himself. This book, Starr and the High Seas Wedding Drama, looked to be the perfect length to get him started. Bonus: There is a boat on the cover.
As it turns out, the book is fantastic. Not only does it present Mexican culture, it does so in a way that is very natural. It didn’t feel like we were being taught about Mexican culture but that it was just part of who Starr is.
And the writing was exceptional, especially for a short kids chapter book. The quality of the writing was not dumbed down but it was still a fairly easy reader for Royal at 7.
In the book, Starr’s Abuela makes mole (mo-lay) which is a traditional sauce that has a bit of spice but is a bit sweet, too. I have never had mole before but my research shows it contains peppers and chocolate. So we decided to go ahead and make our own mole.
It turned out to be quite an interesting dish. I’d like to try some authentic Mexican mole before offering any real judgment