Books Children Diversity Reading Challenge

Two Great Books to Learn about China

Two Great Books to Learn about China

I have two great little books that are similar to something you would pick up in a museum gift shop if traveling to another country. I’m sure you’ve figured out by now that when I travel I always come home with a book related to my destination.  I have not been to China, but I would love to receive little books like this from any friend who’s traveled there.

What Was It Like, Mr. Emperor?: Life in China’s Forbidden City

What Was It Like Mr. Emperor by  Chiu Kwong-chiu

The book discusses the hows and whys and whats of being an emperor in China, starting back centuries to modern day. It is amazing to learn how many emperors China has had and also their history.  Much of the book will be over little kids’ heads but the comic illustrations help with understanding.  A brilliant foldout in the center of adds to the charm of the book. Did you know that emperors have numerous wives and sub wives and servants all kinds of staff? It’s mindboggling. Also, some of the emperors earned their titles in not nice ways and some emperors were downright bad leaders.

So great introduction to Chinese history. This is a coffee table book that you will read over and over because it contains so much good stuff. I don’t think it’s meant to be read in one sitting.

Next up is the adorable Bowls of Happiness.

Bowls of Happiness by Brian Tse

Intertwined with the history of Chinese bowls is the story of little piggy and her special bowl. It’s so cute! Did you know that colors and symbols have great significance in China? Yeah I didn’t and now I want my own special bowl of happiness. The beautiful watercolor illustrations are too rich to be left in a child’s bookshelf. Leave this book on the coffee table too. Next time you’re eating from a bowl, take notice of the decorations; there could be hidden meanings.

These two books are a good fit for the Diversity Reading Challenge!

Perfect for the study of Chinese holidays too, I think?

2015 Diversity Reading Challenge Books Children Diversity

The Little Tree by Muon Van

In the shadows of an old forest stood a little tree. She was so small, she was the smallest tree of all.

Opening lines are EVERYTHING to me.

Doesn’t that opening line just KILL?

It sets up the scene, starts the emotions rolling and lets you know you’re in for a great story. I’m almost near tears already!

The Little Tree by Muon Van

As the little tree sends her little seed out into the world, she wonders what will become of it.  One day she finds out. And when she does, OMG will you cry! There are so many different ways to love this book! The author of the book is of Vietnamese descent and discusses the families emigration from Vietnam to Hong Kong and then to the U.S. These feelings are depicted in the illustrations as well. Parents will appreciate the story because that’s exactly how it feels to send a small child out into the world: magical and frightening at the same time. Children will love the story because of the gentle way the tale unfolds, the soft drawings and the feeling of magic and wonder. So much diversity and multiculturalism without saying a word about it. LOVE!

The Little Tree is sure to be a favorite! Add this to your Diversity Reading Challenge.


So This is Paris: The Shiro Project

The Shiro Project by David Khara

This great thriller won’t be released until November and you get a sneaky peeky NOW! Hold on to your croissants friends!

After The Bleiberg Project, the Consortium thriller series continues with The Shiro Project. Reporter Branislav Poborsky is running away from a bad marriage, when he witnesses the Czech army covering up the extermination of an entire village. Saved in extremis by the gentle-giant Mossad agent Eytan Morgenstern, he is thrown into a troubling race to defuse a larger-than-life conspiracy. After Eytan’s mentor is kidnapped, he must join forces with his arch-rival to put an end to a mysterious group that has weapons of mass destruction. Once again, the atrocities of World War II come back to haunt the modern world. What links exist between Japanese camps in China in the 1940s, a US Army research center in the 1950s, and the deadly threat Eytan faces today? From Prague to Tokyo, with stops in Ireland, yesterday’s enemies become today’s best allies and mankind seems on the verge of repeating the errors of the past. What can a lone man do against the madness that is bound to follow?


Here are a few thoughts from the author, David:

The Bleiberg Project introduced Eytan Morgenstern, a larger-than-life hero. Part of the fun in creating the character was to let readers believe he was a threat when, at the middle of the book, they realized he was the actual hero of the series.

In The Shiro Project, the action is centered on his psychology. From a seemingly cold and remorseless killer, Eytan proves to be a much more complex, with a code of honor of his own, and much more sensibility than one could expect. In this adventure, he teams up with Elena, his nemesis in The Bleiberg Project, to save Eli Karman, his mentor, who turns out to be much more than that in a rather unexpected way.

In the second book of the trilogy, I wanted to go deeper into the characters, but I also wanted to stick more to historical facts than I did in the first book. And after what happened in Europe during the war, I decided would work on the experiments led by Japanese scientists in China.

Mon dieu. Incredible, right?


a tout a l’heure!  (that’s French for laters!)










THE ART OF NEIL GAIMAN by Hayley Campbell

When you hear the name Neil Gaiman, what do you think of:

  • Coraline
  • Good Omens
  • Chu’s Day
  • Fortunately the Milk
  • Ocean at the End of the Lane

or the countless other titles that the prolific writer has penned? In the bookstore I work in, when you hear the name Neil Gaiman, you will prolly hear a shrill OH MY GAHWWWWW followed by a whole lot of other unintelligible squibbles.  We’re kinda keen on Neil. That’s what so great about books and Neil, specifically. When you find one you like, you are instantly connected to any of a number of people from all walks of life who also like Neil Gamain’s work! It’s like making instant BFFs.

When birthdays and holidays come around, I want you to consider gifting The Art of Neil Gaiman to them.


You know what? Scratch that. The Art of Neil Gaiman is a book for everyone! Neil Gaiman fans will swoon over it.


Who doesn’t love Coraline and “Other Mother” (I’ll admit it creeps me the heck out)?

Music lovers will love Neil cuz he used to be in a band with the Beetles or someone else English. I forget their name.


Not THEM. He wasn’t IN Duran Duran.

Was he?

So, music isn’t your schtick? Do you have a Goth friend?


Maybe they’ll like the Death Gallery.

No matter what you’re into, The Art of Neil Gaiman has got something for you. The best thing about the book, however, aside from the cheeky one liners and wild hair is that you get the impression that Neil is a real human being who cares about his friends. And maybe, just maybe, that comes through in his books and why we all feel connected to him and to each other.

Was that last line too deep?

I thought so.

Can you believe Neil Gaiman has learned to say “poop”?

hahaha better.