When you can barely conceive of the other side of town, the other side of the world can sound awfully intriguing. We know certain small explorers who have imagined that they might be able to get all the way to China through a hole in the ground, if they could just dig it deep enough. They send their dolls and action figures down to check if there is a light at the end of the tunnel they haven't seen it yet, but are still trying.
The tunnel to China project in the backyard may last for years, but luckily the little ones can get there ever so easily just by opening a few books. A number of children's classics take them there, such as The Story About Ping, Tikki Tikki Tembo and The Empty Pot (our personal favorite), as do an array of more recent titles. Of the latter, we particularly like The Great Race: The Story of the Chinese Zodiac, The Moon Lady, and Chinese Children's Favorite Stories.
With the recent Olympic games in China, there are also a host of sports- and Olympics-related websites for you to explore together. If you have a small gymnast or sprinter or swimmer or cyclist on your hands (and what parent of a preschooler doesn't?), see this article on watching the Olympics with children, and National Geographic Kids on Beijing's preparations for the Games. Also, do tell your small cheering section about the Mascots of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games: the Fish, the Panda, the Tibetan Antelope, and the Swallow -- some of China's most popular animals!
If my eight-year old had to pick a favorite Beatrix Potter book, it would be Jemima Puddleduck, and for my ten-year old, The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin. Whether or not your bedtime rituals include the adventures of Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cottontail, there's... read more
People who appreciate design and illustration love M. Sasek's travel picture books for children from the 60s, and I love This Is Texas (published in 1967 by Macmillian), in particular, because it is all about my current state of mind and residence. E... read more