Book Reviews · Dive Into Diversity

Listen to the Wind: The Story of Dr. Greg & Three Cups of Tea

I chose a very special book for my second post for Dive Into Diversity. My son, Mason, will be seven years old next month. After he was born, my friend came from Idaho to visit us in Oregon. She brought Mason a beautiful book as well as an inspiring CD for me. I am listening to Women of the World: Acoustic as I write this post. I hadn’t listened to this music in a long time. I also hadn’t read Listen to the Wind in a long time. Mason is now old enough to appreciate this beautiful true story about compassion, celebrating culture, and working together to make the world a better place through education and peace.

Listen to the Wind: The Story of Dr. Greg & Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson ~ art by Susan L. Roth

Listen to the wind

Greg Mortenson stumbled, lost and delirious, into a remote Himalayan village after a failed climb up K2. The villagers saved his life, and he vowed to return and build them a school. The remarkable story of his promise kept is now perfect for reading aloud. Told in the voice of Korphe’s children, this story illuminates the humanity and culture of a relevant and distant part of the world in gorgeous collage, while sharing a riveting example of how one person can change thousands of lives.

The first page of Listen to the Wind introduces young readers to the children of Korphe.

20150228_145429 (1)

The last three sentences draw the reader in and set up the story.

“We study in the school that we helped build.

Before our school was built,

we had lessons outside.

We wrote with sticks,

on the ground.”

We learn how the people of Korphe helped Dr. Greg and how Dr. Greg wanted to give back to the people of Korphe. Dr. Greg asked the wise man how he could help. The wise man said, “Listen to the wind.”

Dr. Greg closed his eyes and heard the voices of the children.

20150228_182420

The language throughout the entire book is inviting. I love the use of “folds” to describe the mountains.

“We watched him walk away until he disappeared into the folds of the mountains.”

20150228_145609

Susan L. Roth’s collage illustrations are breath-taking. I had a difficult time deciding which pages to include in this post!

20150228_145750

The outcome of all their hard work is displayed powerfully in the final spread, which includes a letter from the children of Korphe and an illustration of them studying in their new school.

“We are the children of Korphe. Can you hear our voices?

Listen to the wind . . .”

20150228_145850

20150228_181150

The end of the book includes a beautiful Korphe scrapbook as well as an artist’s note.

20150228_150012

My favorite photograph in the scrapbook is of Haji Ali, the wise man who tells Dr. Greg to “listen to the wind.”

20150228_150026

To learn more about the story behind Listen to the Wind visit Three Cups of Tea.

diveintodiversity

 

 

 

Book Reviews · Dive Into Diversity · Multicultural Children's Book Day

The Sandwich Swap

Multicultural children's book day

Today is Multicultural Children’s Book Day! Children’s reading and play advocates Valarie Budayr from Jump Into a Book and Mia Wenjen from Pragmatic Mom have teamed up to create an ambitious (and much needed) national event.

Despite census data that shows 37% of the US population consists of people of color, only 10% of children’s books published have diversity content. Using the Multicultural Children’s Book Day, Mia and Valarie are on a mission to change all of that. Their mission is to not only raise awareness for the kid’s books that celebrate diversity, but to get more of these types of books into classrooms and libraries. Another goal of this exciting event is create a compilation of books and favorite reads that will provide not only a new reading list for the winter, but also a way to expose brilliant books to families, teachers, and libraries.

I try to check out a wide variety of books when we go to the library. I am also participating in the Dive Into Diversity reading challenge. These are the titles my children and I picked out this week:

why mosquitoes

the chicken chasing queen

Peek!

  • Me I Am! by Jack Prelutsky ~ illustrated by Christine Davenier

Me I am!

The Sandwich Swap by Kelly DiPucchio ~ illustrated by Tricia Tusa

The Sandwich Swap

The Sandwich Swap is a story about two friends. Lily eats a peanut butter and jelly sandwich every day for lunch. Salma eats a hummus and pita sandwich every day for lunch. Lily has never tasted hummus, and Salma has never tried peanut butter. Lily thinks Salma’s sandwich looks yucky. Salma thinks Lily’s sandwich looks gross. One day, they share their disgust about each other’s sandwiches. Their hurt feelings turn mad and they both say things they don’t mean. A food fight breaks out in the lunch room and all the kids start calling each other names.

20150125_090906

The next day, Lily and Salma decide to swap sandwiches. Mmmm! Yummy!

20150125_090411

At the end of the book, Salma and Lily meet with the principal to suggest a special event for the school. This spread folds out to reveal a long table with children sharing dishes from all over the world.

20150124_155410

The Sandwich Swap celebrates difference and encourages children to learn about cultures through a topic everyone relates to: food. This is a great picture book to pair with a fun family activity. Invite your children to help prepare a meal from a different part of the world.

My son, Mason, is a blue belt in taekwondo. Although he learns a lot in taekwondo, they don’t teach much about South Korea. Mason learned Grand Master’s favorite food is kimchi, and he thinks Grand Master is pretty cool so we will make kimchi for our first dish. Kimchi is a traditional Korean dish of fermented vegetables.

Grand Master
Grand Master signing Mason’s belt at the ATA City of Trees Tournament.

The Sandwich Swap inspired us to learn more about South Korea. First, we looked at a map.

“Wow, South Korea is so far away,” Mason said.

Then I printed a South Korean flag coloring sheet and information about the meaning of the flag.

20150127_16383720150127_163956

I am excited to incorporate activities for more multicultural children’s books in my February post for Dive Into Diversity. To learn about participating in Multicultural Children’s book Day click here. There will be a Twitter party tonight at 9 pm EST. Follow #ReadYourWorld to learn about other wonderful multicultural children’s books.

Continue the celebration the rest of the year! Read diverse books for Dive Into Diversity hosted by Rather Be Reading and Reading Wishes!

diveintodiversity