Wednesday, December 8, 2010

What in the World Are You Reading? (Picture Books Around the World)

Note To Readers, Please Help:
I'm hoping those of you who read this around the globe can help me to discover books around the world. Tell me about the picture books children in your country enjoy reading. You are welcome to add to the comments on this blog, send me information via Twitter (@justwonderinY), or maybe this is an opportunity to Skype? Thanks, Cathy

For the Love of Liter
A mom recently commented on her child's booklog, "You have so many good picture books." Twenty years of teaching, a supportive district, and a few library cards will definitely fill the room with picture books. It's true. Our classroom is filled with books by authors like Mem Fox (Australian author), Mo Willems, Jan Thomas, Eric Carle, Todd Parr, Robert Munsch, Kevin Henkes, and Eileen Spinelli. Students love reading about characters like Tacky by Helen Lester, Froggy by Jonathon London, Ladybug Girl by Jacky Davis, Bear by Karma Wilson, and Splat the Cat by Rob Scotton.

We are so fortunate in the United States to have so many beautiful picture books, but lately I've been wondering what kids around the world are reading. What are the books they love to hear? What are the books they go home to enjoy?

Children in a Global World
Each day I wonder about connecting students globally. In my classroom I have students who regularly visit family in countries around the world. Each day I read posts and tweets from teachers everywhere. I hear about teachers connecting classrooms in other countries through Skype and other web 2.0 technologies. The ease of travel and the use of the internet have both contributed to a more global society. In this world, it seems necessary to help my students understand different cultures, to learn about students around the world, and to connect with others.

Can You Help?
So I was wondering about picture books around the world. Picture books can be a lens into the lives of others. Who are the authors children around the world love to read? Who are the illustrators that call children to reach for books on the shelves of their homes?

I did what I have come to do often when I start wondering these things; I asked my colleagues on Twitter. Here's what I have collected so far:

Educators Aviva Dunsiger (@Grade1) and Kathy Cassidy (@KathyCassidy) suggested these authors from Canada:

Louise Winsor (@Louwinsr), educator:

Karen Collum @KarenCollum, Australian Picture Book Author

@AllanahK recommended:
Thanks to all of my colleagues on Twitter who replied to my request. I value all you share.


  1. Thanks for the mention in your post! You have a great list of books here. I look forward to checking out a few new ones too.


    Hi Cathy,

    My students ADORE the books of:
    Shel Silverstein
    Jack Prelutsky
    Robert Munsch (they even wrote an e-mail to him!)
    Leo Lionni
    Mike Thaler - the Black Lagoon series :)
    David Shannon (the David series)
    Melinda Long
    These would be the favorite authors...although they like many other books.

    P.S. I am @surreallyno on Twitter.