Saturday, June 18, 2011

Mama's Saris
We started to read Indian-themed books this week, both about Indian customs and about animals common to India. Mama’s Saris by Pooja Makhijani/Elena Gomez was a clear favorite. I almost felt sad that I don’t have a special dress to pass to my daughter and felt kind of bad for my Indian girlfriends who all happen to have sons. It’s a great cross-cultural read, but you can expect your girls to beg you for a sari. Smarty certainly did and she read this book several times every day this week.
How Full Is Your Bucket
A couple of weeks ago Mama Smiles blog recommended Have You Filled a Bucket Today? book. Our library didn’t have it, but I found a similar book. I liked how the authors Tom Rath and Mary Reckmeyer conveyed the concept of how kindness and generosity pays off and makes life better. I am not so sure that Smarty fully got a message though – she was mostly preoccupied with all the situations when the character’s bucket was emptied rather than filled. I think we need to practice generous behavior more often rather than just read about it.
A Boy and a Turtle
We read another book this week in “self-help for children” category – A Boy and a Turtle by Lori Lite/Kimberly Fox. I found that the story didn’t flow well when I read it aloud, but Smarty seemed to enjoy it and said that it made her feel happy. I want to try and practice the relaxation techniques from the book with her and see what happens.
Elephant Prince
One thing that I like about our country studies is that they reinforce to Smarty that the world has many different beliefs. Elephant Prince by Amy Novesky/Belgin Wedman is a very beautiful story about one of the most popular Hindu Gods – Ganesh. To be honest, I didn’t know the story myself, so I was kind of wincing at the page when the child’s head turns to ashes (it’s illustrated very sensitively) and winced even more reading an author’s note in the end about the alternative version of how Ganesh got an elephant’s head (I didn’t read that part to Smarty). Illustrations are fantastic, and the book is a worthy read for 4+ crowd.


MaryAnne said...

We'll have to read "Mama's Saris" - it sounds like a nice book.

My kids sometimes accuse each other of being bucket dippers, so we've had to talk a few times about how calling someone a bucket dipper is being a bucket dipper!

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

I have my wedding dress boxed up for the girls, if they want it - does that count in place of a saris? A study on India sounds very intersting. I like the quote from Emma Thompsons'(sp)version of Sense and Sensibility - when asked about India, Col. Brandon adds to his friend's comment that it was hot - "The air was full of spices" - it makes it sound very magical.

Joyful Learner said...

I would love to read Mama's Sari book. I, too boxed up my wedding dress in case she wants to wear it.

Julie said...

Interesting books this week. I like the idea of choosing a few books with a country theme. I should do that more with M. A funny story related to learning Indian culture. M was counting in Spanish one day and then started counting in a language I didn't know. It turns out her teacher is also teaching the kids to count in Hindi! Unfortunately, we can't really help when she doesn't know the number!

Elise said...

Books themed according to different countries has so many benefits and you have inspired me to do more of this too. "Mamas Saris" sounds like a beautiful story.

johanna said...

can i ask how you first began to introduce world geography to your little girl. i want to try to teach my son about different places but im wondering do i need to put it all in context first like with a world map or did you have a book that introduced it all ? thanks for your help

Raising a Happy Child said...

@Johanna - we started with some "overview" books about maps and globes Me on the Map and Follow the Line Around the World are both good starts.

Our Homeschool Fun said...

How Full is Your Bucket sounds like a wonderful book with a good theme.