Just yesterday I read a story in Newsweek titled “How to Raise a Global Kid.” Today I found the Anna Hibiscus series by Nigerian author, Atinuke. Coincidence? I think not. Even before reading the Newsweek story, I was looking for stories featuring kids from other countries to introduce in school this year. Inly’s library already has a wide selection of books that take place in every corner of the globe, but I was looking for a few new ones. How did I miss Anna Hibiscus who “lives in Africa. Amazing Africa.” I bought the whole series today and can’t wait to share them with the teachers.
The stories about Anna Hibiscus are told in short early chapter books, and Anna is a character any child can relate to. She lives with her large extended family. They text and use their cell phones, but her family also has mango trees, gets their water from a well, and visit a shop where “black-eyed bean fritters” are sold.
Reading books about children who live in other parts of the world is no substitute for traveling, but it is an important part of a young child’s education. Understanding that their joys and concerns are shared by others, not only makes kids more empathetic, but encourages them to be open to the variety of experiences available in this big amazing world.
Here’s the link to Newsweek’s story: