Travel is a fantastic way to open the eyes and minds of children by giving them a peek into another country, culture or way of life. And while being in lockdown has undoubtedly given kids a heavy dose of their own normalities and ways of living — which can go a long way in helping them feel safe and secure in uncertain times — it’s essential to keep them aware of the world outside their window. We want them to stay curious, accept and appreciate differences and become knowledgeable about what the world has to offer so that they can develop into kind and open-minded adults.
A fantastic way to help accomplish this is by reading a variety of brilliant books with them. Books that will take them on journeys through stories and imagery. Books by authors from different races and cultures so that they can hear authentic voices. Books that feature different familial arrangements so they can see that no two families are the same. Books that show them again and again what a magically diverse place the world is.
Skyscanner asked Little Box of Books to share their top tips for helping children explore different countries and cultures from home. The titles from the collection below will take your kids on far-flung adventures and allow them to discover new destinations, despite the current travel restrictions. And, if you fancy it, you can get your own Little Box of Books for an exclusive discount — details can be found at the bottom of this article.
Nimesh the Adventurer by Ranjit Singh, illustrated by Mehrdokht Amini
Nimesh does not let his everyday surroundings stop him from exploring the world. His classroom turns into an ancient cave, his home into a dragon, the school corridor into the bottom of the ocean. This book inspires the imagination and allows the reader to visit new lands and places, as well as to imagine their own. Written by a British author of East Indian heritage and illustrated by an Iranian-born artist living in the UK, this story is a beautiful addition to any bookshelf.
My Grandma and Me by Mina Javaherbin, illustrated by Lindsey Yankey
At its core, this is a book about love — more specifically, a heartwarming relationship between a grandmother and granddaughter. Whatever the cultural context of a story, it’s always good to talk about the things we recognise and have in common, rather than just focusing on the differences — whether that’s race, religion, culture or traditions. This beautiful book highlights that fact brilliantly, while also offering insights into the Muslim faith and Iranian culture, all alongside some incredible illustrations.
Anna Hibiscus’ Song by Atinuke
This story opens with the line, “Anna Hibiscus lives in Africa, amazing Africa,” and plunges readers into a vivid description of what her typical morning looks like. It’s hot, there are mango trees, she’s with her family, some of them are going to work — and then the fun begins. Written by Nigerian storyteller Atinuke, this charming story offers a glimpse into an Africa rarely seen in children’s books.
Errol’s Garden by Gillian Hibbs
Lockdown has probably made us appreciate what we have more than ever, and has hopefully made us think a bit more about the well-being of those around as well. “Errol’s Garden” is a unique book by Gillian Hibbs about a little boy who lives with his dad and sister in a highrise building in the city. One day, he decides to go up to his roof. While taking in a birds-eye view of his neighbourhood, he comes up with a fantastic idea to get the whole community together to create something beautiful — a perfect story about the strength of community and building strong relationships.
There’s Room for Everyone by Anahita Teymorian
In this compelling tale, a little boy wonders: if the planet has enough room for all of its animals and creatures, and they can all make space for each other, why can’t humans do the same? He thinks about how he’s seen people fighting for space in all of the destinations he’s travelled to, concluding that if we were all just a bit kinder to each other, a bit more willing to share and more open to love, there would be more than enough room for everyone.
An exclusive discount for Skyscanner users
We hope that you and your children will enjoy these stories as much as we do. Little Box of Books and Skyscanner find that stories like these — those that showcase diversity in race, culture, family arrangements, relationships and challenge disability and gender stereotypes — are essential for opening up today’s youth to the incredible world around them. Books like these will teach children that all humans have a lot more in common than we might realise, and that we should acknowledge, appreciate and respect the things that make us beautifully different from one another.
Interested in ordering a few for your family? Little Box of Books is offering Skyscanner users an exclusive discount, so your little adventurers never have to stop exploring throughout these uncertain times. Just head to https://littleboxofbooks.co.uk/subscribe/, select your child’s age range, the number of books you’d like to receive each month, and then be sure to choose the 3-month plan. Use the code FLYHIGH5 at checkout, and voilà, you’ll receive £5 off your first order.
Want to read more?
- We’re here for you: our regularly updated article on Coronavirus and travel.
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