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Travel the world through children’s books

By Dara L. Cain
Rowan Public Library
Reading provides your child a wonderful opportunity to travel through books without leaving the comforts of home. Below are some noteworthy books that will open up your childís mind to different people, places and things. An introduction to geography, language arts and cultural heritage can be explored in these great titles:
Wouldnít it be fun to explore animal sounds with your child in other languages? In the book, ěEverywhere the Cow Says Moo,î by Ellen Slusky Weinstein, your child can learn how to say dog, frog, duck, rooster and cow in four languages: English, Spanish, French and Japanese. As you read the book, you will be surprised to learn that the cow sounds the same in all four languages. This is a fun read that includes a list of the animals with their corresponding sounds, spellings and pronunciations in each language.
A classroom of children receives gifts of clothing from aunts, uncles, grandparents and great-grandparents living around the world in the story ěThe World Turns Round and Roundî by Nicki Weiss. Some of the special gifts received are cowboy boots from an aunt in Colorado, a furry hat from a babushka in Russia, a dashiki from a mjomba in Kenya, and a sari from a chachi in India. At the end of the book the classmates are shown wearing their gifts and looking at a globe. Included is a map to introduce the countries discussed in the book and a small glossary with pronunciations and definitions.
Have you ever met a finicky child who didnít want to eat his food? In the story ěThe Kingís Tasterî by Kenneth Oppel, the cook and his dog Max encounter a fussy young king who refuses to eat the cookís food. In an attempt to satisfy the king, the cook and Max travel the world in search of the most scrumptious delicacies including french fries from France, pizza from Italy and chili tacos from Mexico. The story will have you laughing when Max finally discovers what has been ruining the kingís appetite and a cookís promise to tell the kingís mother if he doesnít eat his food.
Calabash Cat is a West African cat whose curiosity leads him on a journey to find out where the world ends in the story ěCalabash Cat and his Amazing Journeyî by James Rumford. Each time Calabash Cat thinks he has found the end of the world he meets another animal: a camel, a horse, a tiger and then a whale who takes him further. The cat travels through a desert, the grasslands, a jungle and an ocean but it is not until he meets a wise eagle who carries him into the sky that he sees a world without end. This story is beautifully illustrated in the ěcalabashî style engraving from the African country of Chad.
Baby Mouse has gone missing and Mother Mouse cannot find him anywhere in the story ěGorilla, Gorillaî by Jeanne Willis. In pursuit of her baby a big, scary gorilla chases after Mother Mouse, shouting ěStop!î In fear that she will be eaten, Mother Mouse runs far away to China, Australia, the Arctic and western America in hopes of evading Gorilla and finding Baby Mouse. Young children reading the story will be delighted to learn that Gorilla never planned to eat Mother Mouse but was only trying to return Baby Mouse safely to her. This story provides a great introduction to various countries, landscapes and types of transportation for your child to discover.
Summer Family Movie Night ó at Rowan Public Library headquarters, Tuesday, Aug. 16, 6:30 p.m., ěCloudy With a Chance of Meatballs.î Part of the Centennial celebration. All movies are rated G, PG or PG 13 ó some movies are in appropriate for younger audiences. Children should be accompanied by an adult. Free popcorn and lemonade.
Computer classes: There are no computer classes in August.
Book Bites Club ó Aug. 30, 6:30 p.m., ěHouse Rulesî by Jodi Picoult. Book discussion groups for both adults and children are held at South Rowan Regional Library the last Tuesday of each month. The group is open to the public and anyone is free to join at any time. There is a discussion of the book, as well as light refreshments at each meeting. For more information please call 704-216-8229.
Displays: Headquarters óAnime by Robert Clyde Allen; South ó lunch boxes by Sharon Ross; East ó clowns by Elizabeth Ellenburg.
Literacy: Call the Rowan County Literacy Council at 704-216-8266 for more information on teaching or receiving literacy tutoring for English speakers or for those for whom English is a second language.

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