Saturday, November 12, 2011

Book review: The Bamboo Dance

My 4-year-old, Ethan, has two main obsessions in life. The first is one that I have talked about here before- sports. All sports.  He would play soccer or baseball all day if I let him.  But his second obsession is almost as huge- he desperately wants to travel. During every book we read or show that we watch, he says "Mom- I want to go there."  His current favorite TV show is Amazing Race and he loves to see where the teams are off to next. 

Unfortunately for Ethan, our current finances and busy schedules don't let us jet off to exotic locales, so our travel is currently limited to the armchair variety. Which is why I was so happy to learn about a new line of books that's designed to help kids experience other cultures and places. Here's a bit about these books, from a press release that I received:
Hartlyn Kids, founded by Aisha Greene and Christine Mills, and is dedicated to bringing the diverse cultures of the world to children and their families through stories that engage and inspire. Each of the books describes the day in the life of a child from different parts of the globe and is written by local authors native to the countries represented.

Readers can start their travels with the Philippines with the first book in the collection, THE BAMBOO DANCE (Hartlyn Kids; ISBN: 978-061548-984-1; September 2011), written by Cress Sia and illustrated by Lisa Butler. In this book you will meet Paco and Diego, two Filipino boys, as they learn to dance the tinikling, the national dance of the Philippines. Along the way, they will learn that practice makes perfect, especially when you have the encouragement of your friend!
The kids and I really enjoyed reading The Bamboo Dance.  It was a great story of friendship and perseverance, with lots of words and cultural references from the Philippines as well.  The illustrations were lovely, and together with the story really made us feel like we were getting a glimpse at life on the other side of the world.  The Bamboo Dance is a wonderful way to introduce your kids to life in another culture, in a way that is kid-friendly and appropriate. Another fun aspect of these books is that they each come with a "passport sticker" so that your child can collect them from different books and see where all they've been. I can't wait to see where the Hartlyn Kids books will travel next!

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book to review for myself. I was not compensated in any other way and all opin