Around the World in One Summer
Witty, engaging, and informative, the latest collection of international children’s literature at The Last Word promises to send your child zooming off across time and space.
The Sleeping Baobab Tree – Paula Leyden
Age range: 9+
Bul-boo thinks that Fred’s great grandmother is a witch, and when she decides to take Fred and his two friends on a trip to The Place of Death or Ng’ombe Ilede, his worst fears are confirmed. Prepare to travel into the heart of Zambia on a journey unlike any other. Join Fred, Bul-boo and Madillo as they attempt to discover the reason for the sudden and strange disappearances of the patients at Bul-boo’s mother’s AIDS clinic. With all the promise of an adventure story, Leyden takes her readers into the unfamiliar terrain and introduces them to the culture of Africa. The Sleeping Baobab Tree is a refreshing break from the more popular trope of Western literature, and is an important read for children who wish to travel while staying snuggled up on their armchair at home.
A Jar of Pickles and a Pinch of Justice – Chitra Soundar
Age Range: 7+
Join Prince Veera and his friend Suku, as together they set out to settle the problems faced by King Bheema’s court. Tinged with the flavor of India, A Jar of Pickles and a Pinch of Justice, is a short yet informative read of which every story has a moral. Whether reading about a greedy group of pickle-swapping, crow-culling, revenge-seeking crooks or a jealous potter, prepare to be blown away by this fun, culturally rich book.
The Whistling Monster: stories from around the world – Jamila Gavin
Age range: 7+
All over the world children love hearing stories, and though these stories differ from place to place, their crux remains the same. Whether from Brazil or Botswana, Finland or India, these stories center around the themes of good versus evil, bravery, wisdom and nature to name a few. Though these tales have been retold many times they have stood the test of time. Revisit the classic story of Puss in Boots, and learn about the reasons behind the Mexican ritual of praying to the Corn Maidens every harvest, as you travel the world one story at a time.
The Parent Trap – Erich Kästner
Age range: 9+
While everyone knows about the movie The Parent Trap starring Lindsey Lohan, not many have read the book which formed its basis. Set in Germany and Austria, The Parent Trap is an innovative and realistic twist on the classic trope of swapped identities. Split up since their parent’s divorce, Lottie and Luise meet for the first time at summer camp. Join the sisters as they move from hating each other to being inseparable. But their greatest challenge of all still awaits them— will they be able to bring their estranged parents back together? A warm, heartfelt book about the importance of family, Kästner’s classic tale is sure to delight children of all ages.
Little Prince: An Epic Tale from Ancient Iraq – Kathy Henderson
Age range: 7+
Welcome to the oldest written story in the world— older even than Greek and Roman myths. Lost for four thousand years, this story, which was originally scratched out on lumps of clay, follows the story of Lugalbanda, the little prince who got caught up in a war and grew up to be one of the great kings of Uruk and Sumer. A perfect introduction to historic times, this book is ideal for young children eager to learn about the past and its connection to the present. Not only will this book transport readers to another place, but it will serve as a bridge across time as well.
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