The Southern Hemisphere and Beyond in World Kid Lit

This is the fourth in a series of four posts with which we ask you to join us in celebrating World

Turning to the Southern Hemisphere to explore new books for World Kid Lit Month, we have to start with Gecko Press, New Zealand’s award-winning children’s publisher.  It seems fitting, for the theme here, to give a particular shout out to the new picture book they’ve published by Ulrika Kestere, Otto Goes North. The protagonist is a ring-tailed lemur, the author/illustrator is Swedish, the journey involves heading to the Northern Lights…but wait, this book is from the Southern Hemisphere. Now that’s an homage to the power of World Kid Lit!  Joy Cowley’s classic chapter book, Snake and Lizard, with illustrations by Gavin Bishop, also from Gecko has its roots as well as its publishing credits in the Southern Hemisphere. The story, however, has universal appeal:

While NubeOcho Books is at home in Spain, their authors and illustrators come from many Spanish-speaking countries as well as some from beyond that generous assortment, too. Illustrator Ana Sanfelippo is from Argentina. You can enjoy her wok in Jose Carlos Andres picture book Adopting a Dinosaur or, in Spanish, Adoptar un dinosaurio.

The British-Iranian publisher Tiny Owl also offers kids books that cross the Equator to the Southern Hemisphere. South African illustrator Dale Blankenaar illustrated their brand new picture book by Alan Durant, a retelling of a traditional story familiar to Western readers in its Stone Soup variants. Here, in Quill Soup, the theme of villagers hesitant to help a stranger is a component along with making a meal through cooperative effort.

World Kid Lit Month is most definitely a time to overcome hesitation about meeting other cultures and stories from around the globe. We hope our four-part series has given you a big stack of possibilities for doing some world traveling of your own with your little reader.

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