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Books about life around the world

Asking questions with books

Books are a wonderful way to help children learn about the wider world. They get transported to places they’ve never been before. We share some of our favourite titles for babies and children up to age 11.

Babies to 3 years

The Skin You Live In by Michael Tyler

With the ease and simplicity of a nursery rhyme, this lively story delivers an important message of social acceptance to young readers.

Global Babies

This board book shows photographs of babies from all over the world in their native costume and describes how all babies are special.

Ages 3 to 4 years

Handa’s Surprise by Eileen Browne

Handa puts seven fruits in a basket to take to her friend, Akeyo. Which fruit will Akeyo like best, she wonders?

How To Make An Apple Pie and See The World by Marjorie Priceman

This picture book can help young readers to think about different places around the world, as a silly recipe for apple pie goes around the globe to gather ingredients.

The Swirling Hijaab by Na’ima bint Robert

A picture book about the feelings a little Muslim girl has for her head scarf, her Hijaab. This book and can provide children with an interesting insight into the Hijaab.

Ages 5 to 8 years

Elephant Dance by Theresa Heine

Ravi and Anjali love their grandfather's stories of India, where the sun is like a ferocious tiger, the wind is like a wild horse, and monsoon rains cascade from the sky like waterfalls.

Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain by Verna Aardema

Set in Africa, this book can encourage children to think about other cultures and ways of life. Young readers will find out how Ki-pat the herd boy ended a dreadful drought.

A Gift for Amma: Market Day in India by Meera Siram

Inspired by the author’s hometown of Chennai, India, a girl explores the vibrant rainbow of delights in a southern Indian street market as she searches for a gift for her Amma (mother). Endnotes explain all the items on sale and introduce readers to markets around the world.

Adventures to School by Miranda & Baptiste Paul

Kids around the world get to school in unique ways. Take a peek inside this book and see how they reach their destinations!

Ages 9 to 12 years

Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie

Set in an exotic landscape with magicians and talking animals, this work of fantasy is an exciting story. Haroun sets out on an adventure to restore the poisoned source of the sea of stories.

The Silly Chicken by Idries Shah

This quirky story is set in rural Pakistan and should help children think about life in other parts of the world. It features a young girl whose mother’s pet chicken can talk, and soon has the whole town following it.

Kensuke’s Kingdom by Michael Morpurgo

This exciting book a tale of a young boy who is shipwrecked on an island in the Pacific Ocean…