Turning to the East(ern) Hemisphere for World Kid Lit Month

This is the first in a series of four posts with which we ask you to join us in celebrating World Kid Lit Month (#WorldKidLit on social media).

German Calendar, No December coverIn German Calendar No December, from Cassava Republic Press, Sylvia Ofili and Birgit Weyhe combine talents to take us into the life a small town Nigerian girl who has become acquainted with her mother’s roots in Germany through postcards and stories. Here’s a graphic novel that depicts a boarding school story that is both universal and particular, and wholly authentic. The author, who currently lives in Sweden, grew up in a Nigerian-Hungarian household in Lagos. The artist, who is German, spent her own childhood in German Calendar, No December interior pageEast Africa. Together they show us a girl, Olivia, who grows from child to teen to young woman in search of discovering her mother’s ancestral home. This is a perfect teen book for the month’s celebration, pulling as it does from multiple Eastern Hemisphere nations and cultures while providing readers with little experience beyond North America with a clearly accessible larger world and a compelling heroine.

From India’s Karadi Tales, the Farmer Falgu picture book series has now reached four Farmer Falgu Goes Kite Flying covervolumes! Author Chitra Soundar and illustrator Kanika Nair take young readers, by turn, with Farmer Falgu as he …Goes to the Market; …Goes Kite Flying; …Goes on a Trip; and …Goes to the Kumbh Mela, which is a 2019 Children’s Book Council Best Children’s Books of the Year. Along the way, Farmer Falgu-and readers-learn about counting, planning, finding out essential information to get where we want to go, and more. After this introduction to Chitra Soundar’s storytelling, there are so many more of her books to discover, including the series, from British Lantana Publishing and gorgeously illustrated by Poonam Mistry, You’re Safe with Me; You’re Snug with Me; and the soon to be released You’re Strong with Me.

Night Windows coverAnother British publisher to get to know during World Kid Lit Month is Cicada Books which is dedicated to visually rich books that give readers information and insight as well as gorgeous art.   Among their newest titles is the picture book from Dutch artist Aart-Jan Venema, Night Windows, an excellent choice for the beginning of a school year or other time of great change and potential for anxiety about fitting in to new surroundings.

Many more rich and charming, wise and engaging books come from the Eastern Hemisphere. You’ll need much more than a week to discover the possibilities!

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