Reading Around the WorldWe have started introducing our daughter to different cultures since she was about 3 years old. Over years, we read about many different countries trying to encourage daughter to pick a country of her choice when she got older. You are welcome to check out other posts in Read Around the World series:
Books About South AfricaWe participated in an international postcard exchange and received a card from Capetown, South Africa. It prompted Smarty to pick South Africa as a read around the world country. Finding books proved to be a little different, but I want to share two that I was able to get from our library system.
A South African Night by Rachel Isadora is a good book for younger readers and kids who love animals. The book transitions from an evening in the big city to a busy animal night life in Kruger National Park. I have to admit that my 5 year old likes stories with more “meat”, and this book has very sparse text. The story is told mostly in gorgeous illustrations, but Smarty prefers words to pictures and didn’t care for this book much.
While the first book “flopped for us”, the second one turned out to be the winner. Smarty absolutely loved was Safari in South Africa from Adventures of Riley series by Amanda Lumry and Laura Hurwitz. The book is illustrated with drawn characters super imposed on photos, and my 5 year old just couldn’t get enough of both the story and the illustrations. In addition to an engaging story about animal conservation, there are also non-fictional inserts on every page describing interesting facts about every animal. For example, I didn’t know that leopard is the quietest of all cats or that hippos kill more humans than any other African animal.
A Simple African Mask Craft
A good extension activity for both books would be something to do with animals, but I also wanted to introduce a bit of African culture to Smarty. We looked at African masks online, and then she selected an African mask to color and cut from Printable African Masks. I printed it on printer paper and glued it to cardboard to make it sturdier. Smarty chose a lion mask first, but decided that it required too much coloring and asked to color the more abstract mask that I chose. Then we spent some time outside chasing each other and putting up “an African show” for papa. I hope we can go to South Africa one day “for real” – I never knew that it’s such an amazing place until I “visited” it virtually with Smarty.
More South African Activities
- Montessori Inspired South Africa Activities from Living Montessori Now
- Christmas in South Africa from KidWorldCitizen
- South Africa facts and printables from Activity Village
- Crafts for South Africa from Making Friends