Se7en Journeys to Asia With the Read the World Book Club…

This is Week Six of our Read the World Book Club Series. For the next couple of weeks we are going to be posting a pile of our favourite books from each continent… and you are welcome to join us on our journey. This week we are journeying to Asia along with The Simple Homeschool Folk and #Giveyourchildtheworld.


Welcome to Asia

In this section of the journey we are looking for books from the countries of Asia… and the first thing to do when virtually travelling is to create a feast…


Create a fine curry… In the shape of one of our favourite tigers, Augustus, featured in the books below.


Visit an Indian Restaurant and learn how to make Naan breads…


Create some delicious fried rice for a feast from the far East and some quick and Make some easy Fortune Cookies for a treat…


Print, decorate and play with a Tangram…


Our Favourite Books from Asia

Actual Factual Books

First Thousand Words in Chinese by Heather Amery: You can’t beat an Usborne book and this series is fabulous.

The Great Wall of China by Leonard Everett Fisher: The great Wall of China has an intriguing history and you can find the story of its beginnings here.

Ancient China (Treasure Chest): This isn’t technically a book, but one of our kids’ favourite resources. It includes a brush and ink set, with instructions for Chinese characters, coins, charts and many little bits and pieces to explore and read about.

Gladys Aylward by Janet and Geoff Benge: This is the perfect time to read a biography and this is a greta series, if you have never shared the life of Gladys Aylward with your children then she would be a great place to start, she is one of our all time favourites!!!

Picture Books

A New Year’s Reunion by Yu Li-Qiong and Zhu Cheng-Liang: This is one of our all time favourite picture books ever. The story of Chinese New Year told through the eyes of a little girl and all the excitement associated with the holiday as her migrant father comes home for the holiday. The family shares their celebration with the reader and then after far too few days, the father leaves again to his work, for another year. Bitter sweet and a beautiful expression of family.

Augustus and His Smile by Catherine Rayner: Another one of our favourite books, this book is set in a wild a jungle setting, with beautiful brush pen and ink illustrations… the tiger loses his smile and wanders through the jungle until he finds his smile again. There are some amazing facts at the end of the book, where you discover that Augustus is a Siberian Tiger.

The Tiger Skin Rug by Gerald Rose: Set in India, this is the story of an old, skinny tiger who longs to be part of the Rajah’s household. One day he sees a servant beating the rugs and decides that he could enter the household as a rug… he starts to feast on the family’s leftovers and they start to get a little suspicious of their expanding rug… until one night three burglars enter the home and the tiger amazes everyone and rescues the family. As a result, this is one tiger that lives very happily ever after.

The Story of Ping by Marjorie Flack and Kurt Wiese: Some books deserve to be read by everyone, and the Story of Ping is one of those. Ping is a little duck, who rather than get a smack for being last duck home one evening, decides to go on an adventure down the Yangtze river… one day of adventuring is quite enough for the little duck and the next evening he heads home.

Tubby and the Lantern by Al Perkins: The story of a little boy and his pet elephant. They help in the family, paper lantern business. One day these two decide to build a giant paper lantern, they use all the candles, all the bamboo and all the paper… and make a wonderful lantern, which then floats away and the reader is taken on an exciting journey, and they do safely get home just in time for the little boy, Ah Mee’s birthday.

The Elephant’s Friend and Other Tales from Ancient India by Marcia Williams: You have to love Marcia Williams and all that she has done to bring folktales around the world to children of all ages in the form of comics strips.

Read-A-Loud Chapter Books

A Grain of Rice by Helena Clare Pittman: This is chinese folklore, a peasant farmer falls in love with the Emperor’s beautiful daughter, but of course is not considered good enough to marry him. But he is a wise peasant farmer and when the emperor’s daughter falls ill only he can save her. The emperor offers him a reward… a grain of rice the first day and double that the second, double that the third, and double that the fourth and so on, all the way up to a hundred days. It turns out that before long the peasant farmer is wealthier than the emperor himself and it turns out that love conquers all.

Little Pear by Eleanor Frances Lattimore: This is a delightful and easy chapter book about a mischievous little boy who live in a small Chinese village. As you read the stories of this sweet little boy and his antics you will pick up lots of nuances of Chinese culture. The chapters make great short reads for children that are making the transition from listening to picture books to chapter books.

Miss Happiness and Miss Flower by Rumer Godin: Nona is miserable, she has been sent home form nice warm India to stay with an aunt, she is homesick and misereable. And then she receives a gift of two Japanese dolls, with very lively personalities, and decides to build them the perfect home. Make sure the edition you read, like this one, has the original and inspiring house plans in it.

the Big Wave by Pearl S. Buck: This is the story of Kino, who lives on the side of a mountain in Japan, and his friend Jiya, who lives in the village below. Kino can’t understand the fear that the villagers have, of the ocean. Until the Big Wave comes and Jiya’s whole village is washed away… Jiya learns to live with his grief and Kino talks to his father, who is full os wisdom and is a natural teacher. This is a poignant and beautiful read.

The Cat Who Went to Heaven by Elizabeth Coatsworth: This is the short whimsical story of a cat, called Good Fortune and his master, who is an artist. The artist paints a series of paintings for the village temple. The paintings are a series of animals that came to the Buddha for his blessing… but according to legend a cat never came. But the artist includes his cat, into the paintings and the priests are not happy with him, and then a “miracle” occurs. This is a delightful tale, that will grow with you each time you read it.

The Kite Fighters by Linda Sue Park: This book is set in Seoul in 1473, and is the story of two brothers with very different talents. Tradition says that the first born must fly kites, but it is the second born, Young-sup, that is the best at flying kites. But the firstborn son, Kee-sup discovers that he has a talent for making kites. They become friends with the king, who wants them to be his team at the New Year’s kite competition. But the boys’ father insists that the oldest brother must fly the king’s kite, because that is the traditional way of doing things. This could have disastrous results.

Chapter Books

Sadako by Eleanor Coerr: A true story… the story of a young athletic Japanese gal, who gets leukaemia as a result of the Hiroshima bomb. She decides to make a 1000 cranes as she sees out her illness. But she only gets to make 644, and her classmates complete the task. This is an unforgettable book, if you haven’t ever read it, then read it. And while you are reading, here are instructions on how to make a paper crane.

Homesick My Own Story by Jean Fritz: This is one of our favourite memoirs, it is the story of the well known author’s own childhood and the events that occurred in China, during the Civil War of the early 1900s. This book is serious and lively all at the same time, it was a difficult time for China and for Jean and yet through the eyes of her childhood there are many really funny moments. This is a great book and we highly recommend it.

I Rode a Horse of Milk White Jade by Diane Lee Wilson: This is the story of Oyuna, a girl whose foot is crushed accidentally by a horse and is therefore a curse on her family. She vows to restore their fortune and waits for her chance. Years later a group of Khan’s soldiers invade her village, her brave spirit rises to the occasion and she dresses as one of the boys and so begins an exciting journey through mountains and deserts of the Mongol steppes. She begins to rely on her own luck and good fortune. This is a brave coming of age book and a great book for anyone who likes an adventure.

The House of Sixty Fathers by Meindert De Jong and illustrated by Maurice Sendak: As Tien Pao’s family is escaping the Japanese invasion of China, the sampan that he is traveling in becomes detached during a rainstorm… The family flees without him and he drifts back into enemy territory. And so begins his journey in search of his family, with only his pet pig for company. This is a story of adventure, endurance and survival.

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin: This is the magical tale of a poor young gal, called Minli, who lives in the valley of Fruitless Mountain. In the evenings her father tells her folktales about the Old Man in the Moon, who could change their families fortune. Mini sets off on a journey to find the Old Man in the Moon and hopefully she will be able to rescue her family from their poverty. The story is richly woven with magic and folktales. In a word this book is enchanting.

Young Fu of the Upper Yangtze by Elizabeth Foreman Lewis: This is the story of a young teenager who, together with his widowed mother, travel from the country to live in the city. They are hoping to find their fortune, and they discover a difficult life in a turbulent time. You follow the boy’s life as he grows up and learns to cope with the world around him, this book is packed with wisdom and life lessons.

Tales of a Korean Grandmother by Frances Carpenter: Each chapter of this book is a traditional folktale or myth from Korea, told by the wise old grandmother of the family to her grandchildren.

The Young Samurai Series by Chris Bradford: When I asked my kids for books from Asia, these were the books that they reached for first. It helps that they have met the author and interviewed him.

Previous Posts in this Series

Se7en Are Off on a Book Voyage

Se7en Journeys to Africa with the Read the World Book Club…

Interview on Growing up in South Africa on Simple Homeschool…

Se7en Welcomes the Read the World book Club to Sunny South Africa…

Se7en Journeys to Europe with the Read the World Book Club…

Se7en Journeys to North America With the Read Aloud Book Club…

Se7en Journeys to the Middle East With the Read the World Book Club…

You are welcome to join the club… and if you do post on instagram use the #Giveyourchildtheworld hashtag.


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