General Question

Violet's avatar

Multicultural picture books?

Asked by Violet (6571points) January 31st, 2010

Can anyone recommend any children’s fiction multicultural picture books, but in English? For ages 5 and younger, and one that can read in a couple minutes (like The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Goodnight Moon).
I’m looking for a story that originated outside of the United States, or is set outside of the United States, and gives a glimpse into another culture.

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8 Answers

MagsRags's avatar

The Mountains of Tibet was a favorite at my house when my daughter was little. It’s based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead, believe it or not, and is about the possibility of reincarnation. The illustrations are lovely.

shadling21's avatar

I remember countless days studying in my school’s library and overhearing Tikki Tikki Tembo read to young children. There are many versions of the story, apparently – at least one is illustrated. Not sure how long it is.

Trillian's avatar

My daughter has one called “Pinduli” which is about a hyena. It’s set in Africa and has a kind of “be happy with who you are” and “don’t pick on the differences of others” theme. Author is Janell Cannon.

janbb's avatar

Anansi Does the Impossible by Aardema (2000) is about a spider who is an African folk character.

ArthurPeterson's avatar

Try Tommy DePaulo. He was always a favorite around my house. He has written/and or illustrated a couple hundred books (this was a huge surprise, since he had only written a handful before I graduated to big kid books!) that run a very wide and culturally diverse gamut. Check him out at:

Jeruba's avatar

I remember one called Lon Po Po. As I recall, it was spiritually akin to one or more traditional Western folktales but of distinctly Asian origin. [Edit: Yes, Little Red Riding Hood, so they say, although it reminded me of others.]

And then, of course, most of the fairy tales and folk tales we think of as “ours” originated in Europe: Germany, France Russia, Denmark, the U.K., etc. But their themes have a universal quality, and they are not usually more explicit in their settings than that they took place “long ago.”

I second The Mountains of Tibet, even though my answer to the inevitable “Can that really happen?” had to be “Some people believe that, but no.”

Violet's avatar

Thank you all so so much! Those are all great suggestion! : )

Trillian's avatar

Translation: Ok. Enough already!~

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