Thursday, May 24, 2012

Books From Botswana

OK, Maybe from Botswana is a stretch. I promised you in my last post that I would be telling you about the books that we gathered at the library last week. That is exactly what I am here to do today. 

The first one is another book that is part of the Cultures Of The World series. I don't know that there is a lot more to say since I have raved about this series already here, but these books are great because they cover so many topics. They cover religion, politics, geography, politics, wildlife, festivals, food, language, lifestyle, and more. I like these books a lot because we are able to read the parts that are relevant to our lessons here such as wildlife and geography and skip stuff that is a bit too much for the littles yet, like politics. They even include a couple of recipes in each one. 

As I have said more than once, it is not always easy to find books that are fictional, or at least more story based than a non-fiction fact finding book. We did find a cute folk tale, retold by Verna Aardema called The Lonely Lioness and the Ostrich Chicks. This story is not specific to Botswana. It is an African folk tale, of a lioness who sees a mother ostrich with her chicks and decides that she needs to have the ostrich chicks to keep her company, this tale follows the mother ostrich who will stop at nothing to get her chicks back and the lioness who is determined to keep them for herself. 

The last book that we borrowed from the library is a chapter book geared toward young readers (around 7 or 8 I would guess).  Even though Aiden is reading now, I read it to my littles and they liked it a lot! It is about a girl named Precious Ramotswe, she lives in Botswana and embarks on her very first detective case. It is called The Great Cake Mystery and is written by the author of The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency series, Alexander McCall Smith. This story is told in a way that brings the reader into the book with questions and statements directed at the reader such as, "Do you like questions? Many people who ask lots of questions become detectives." It educates by detailing the wildlife and landscape. Alexander McCall Smith talks about The Kalahari Desert and the river "...which flowed the wrong way. It did not flow into the ocean, as rivers usually do, but back into the heart of Africa. When it reached the sands of the Kalahari, it drained away, just like water disappears down the drain of the bath." My kids really liked the story and following the mystery. I absolutely loved the way the story included them and educated them all while they enjoyed a fun mystery. 

Have you read any good books with your littles lately? How about any of the Alexander McCall Smith books (it seems I may be the last to know about this wonderful series)?

1 comment:

  1. Ooh, I'll have to check out The Great Cake Mystery. I love the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. You MUST rent the mini series DVDs...they are fantastic. Not sure if the kids would be into them or not, but for them you should get Animals are Beautiful People and The Gods Must Be Crazy (I have that on VHS--you guys could come over for a movie party). Don't know if movies are part of your travels or not, but I highly recommend all of the above. We also have some Alexander McCall Smith books for kids: Akimbo and the Snakes, Akimbo and the Baboons and Akimbo and the Lions. It's been a while since we read the Snakes and I just got the other two for the boys' b-days, and we haven't read them yet, so I'm not sure if they're specifically Botswana or vaguely Africa. And we just read Jan Brett's Honey Honey Lion, again vaguely African...probably more like Kenya or something.


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