Every month when we make our trip to the library we are eager to see what kinds of stories we can unearth that are relevant to our current destination. Some months I know that there will be a large selection of books and stories available, other months, I hope to be surprised, but anticipate far less.
This month, was one of the latter and sadly, the "pickins were slim" as they say. Of course we grabbed the Panama book from the Cultures of The World series by Susan Hassig and Lynette Quek, as we do every month.
We also found a book called The Panama Canal by Elizabeth Mann, this book is about.... can you guess?.... the history of the Panama Canal.
As I have mentioned before I always like to find other books too. Books that aren't just cold hard facts, but ones that tell a story. They can be fact or fiction, but they need to be connected to our country of the month in some form. Often we find folk tales and we love these. They are stories that help us feel connected to our destination because we know that these stories originated in the heart of the country and it's ancestors.
Since we were unable to find anything like this for Panama, I broadened the search to Central America. In our little local library the only book that was brought up that was an age appropriate book related to Central America was a book called Red-Eyed Tree Frog by Joy Cowley. It follows a tree frog through a night, starting when many other animals of the rainforest go to sleep, the tree frog wakes up. It is looking for food and encounters other creatures if the rainforest, some that it avoids because they don't taste good and bite (ants), others because they are poisonous (caterpillars), and still others because they are predators (Boa snakes). Finally, the little tree frog finds a moth, eats it up and settles in to sleep for by pressing it's green body flat against a green leaf for the day and closes it's eyes. This book has lovely pictures and in the back it has two pages of facts along with actual size photos (2 inches).
Though I am disappointed to have not found a book of the folk lore and legend of Panama, this book was an informative look at one of the many inhabitants of the rainforest. It is a good book for 3-5 year olds. Aiden is 7 and while the topic was interesting enough for him, it was a little too simple for him.
Have you discovered any great books about Panama? Or how about hit up your local library in hopes of finding a treasure and being disappointed with the selection?
Also, I'm looking for someone to be featured for our Panama Traveling Friend. If you or anybody you know has been to Panama and would like to be our featured friend, please contact me mamacitasglobe[at]yahoo[dot]com.