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Kids Read the World: A Kid World Citizen Initiative

A few days ago while browsing on Instagram, I found out about an awesome initiative that I just had to share!  By now you should know how passionate I am about reading and books, so naturally I would be intrigued by this amazing project that Becky Morales from Kid World Citizen has started.

Becky is an ESL teacher and mom to 5 kids.  Her husband is from Mexico, and she is from the US.  When they had their two daughters, Becky began looking for ways to incorporate Mexican culture into their family life. Soon, they adopted their son from China, and a couple of years later, another son from Ethiopia.  As their family grew, they expanded their celebrations, books, and music to include all of their heritage cultures.

Kid World Citizen
Becky decided to start a blog to help other adoptive families honor and learn about their children’s cultural backgrounds. Many of her readers were adoptive families, but she soon realized that many parents – of all backgrounds – were looking for ways to teach their kids about the world. Parents are interested in raising little global citizens who are aware of others inside and outside their communities. Becky wanted this for for their children too, so she expanded her blog to include the whole world. Hence the name, Kid World Citizen.Becky has been blogging for several years reading tons of books set around the world. Yet, when she read the jacket covers, most often the author was from the US. While the books were taking place around the world, they were not written by authors of the specific culture, who grew up in the particular country. Wanting to experience world cultures from the perspectives of their citizens, she began to look for children’s books that have been translated into English.

One day while Becky was playing on Facebook, serendipity struck: She clicked on a TED talk of a woman who had read an adult’s book from every country. It was the catalyst she needed to begin. She showed her kids Ann Morgan’s talk and they all agreed they would try to read a kid’s book from every country.

It’s not a simple task, and may prove to be unattainable: there are many countries that have few publishing houses (or none at all). If they have published children’s books, it is possible that none of have been translated.

Becky decided to start an editable google doc, where she could crowdsource ideas. She called out to her networks and asked friends, family, teachers, librarians, and organizations to suggest book titles.

The project “Kids Read the World” is just at the beginning stages. They are looking for recommendations of favorite, original children’s books (translated) from every country in the world. They are hoping to read classic books that are enjoyed by kids around the planet: picture books, traditional stories, folktales, picture books or easy chapter books.

Kids Read the World
The best part?  The live document is editable, and anyone can read it and add to it!  That’s right, Kid World Citizen is asking readers to look over the list, and add any book titles under the appropriate countries. When they finish with the list, they will also share that so that others can read their way around the world!  What a neat project, wouldn’t you agree?  I can’t wait to see the final list of books!

I hope you’ll join Becky and our friends over at Kid World Citizen in researching books titles and compiling the master list!

Your turn:  What translated books from around the world would you add to the list?  Feel free to share in the comments.

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6 Comments

  • Reply Becky

    Thank you so much for featuring this! 🙂 I am so glad we made the connection- I’ve been sharing your web site with a lot of families I know who love to read with their kids!

    January 10, 2016 at 12:17 pm
    • Reply Mrs. G

      I’m glad we made the connection too, Becky! I think your project is amazing – what a great undertaking! I think with lots of help from others around the world you’ll be able to achieve your goal. Best of luck!

      January 10, 2016 at 12:22 pm
  • Reply Jayne

    What a great project! I have to put a bit of thought into what book I would choose 🙂

    January 10, 2016 at 1:23 pm
    • Reply Mrs. G

      Isn’t it great, Jayne? I would have to put some thought into this too as we usually read non-translated books written by American authors.

      January 10, 2016 at 1:25 pm
  • Reply Kelly Wade

    I am slowly acquiring books from other countries to read to my class, so they can be more aware of the world around them. I also collect sand, so the students look at sand from a country when we learn something about it. I love your project and want to be part of it.

    January 14, 2016 at 1:18 pm
    • Reply Mrs. G

      Awesome, Kelly! Please reach out to Kid World Citizen directly to let them know you’re willing to help. Thanks for stopping by!

      January 14, 2016 at 1:43 pm

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