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Kids’ Books about Western Europe
Welcome back for the fifth installment of our series Read Around the Continents! So far we’ve read our way through Eastern Europe, Africa, South America and North America.
This month we are exploring the reading, books, and culture of Western Europe!
Western Europe is the region comprising the westerly countries of Europe. While the term has a geographic context, another main definition developed during the Cold War (approx. 1945-1991) to describe the countries associated with the Western European Union (1954–2011; now part of the European Union (EU)), a defensive alliance drafted in 1948 among non-communist European nations during the Cold War, as opposed to the countries of the Eastern Bloc (or Warsaw Pact). Countries culturally and geographically associated with other European regions that steered clear of Soviet influence during the Cold War are usually included, while western members of the former Eastern Bloc (with the exception of Eastern Germany) are excluded.-Wikipedia
The Cat Who Walked Across France by Kate Banks & George Hallensleben. The cat and the old woman have lived happily together for many years in the stone house by the sea. But when the old woman dies, the cat is packed up with her belongings and sent north to the village where she was born. Soon he is forgotten. He walks the streets aimlessly until, spurred by memories and a longing to return to the place he knows and loves, the cat embarks on a journey to find the home he was taken away from.
Shadow on the Mountain by Margi Preus-Fourteen-year-old Espen and his friends are swept up in the resistance movement in Nazi occupied Norway. He gets his start delivering illegal newspapers, then graduates to the role of courier, and finally becomes a spy, dodging the Gestapo along the way. During five years of the Nazi regime, he gains–and loses–friends, falls in love, and makes one small mistake that threatens to catch up with him as he sets out to escape over the mountains to Sweden.
Atlas of Europe by
Karen Foster: Explore Europe! Take a look at the continent’s countries, people, cities, plants, animals, farming and industry, transportation, and leisure activities.
d by Allan Drummond (Denmark): Hold onto your hats! It’s windy on the Danish island of Samso. Meet the environmentally friendly people who now proudly call their home Energy Island.
I Wonder Why Venetians Walk on Water by Philip Steele:
This colorful globe-trotting book is packed with fascinating facts about countries, people, and places, providing readers with answers to questions as intriguing as “Where do elephants glow in the dark?” and “Which country has more sheep than people?”
Oh, Vienna! A Kids Guide to Vienna
by Penelope Dyan: Vienna, the largest city in Austria, is its capital. It is known as the city of music because of its musical roots, and it is also known as the city of dreams because it was home to the world’s first psycho-analyst, Sigmund Freud. The roots of the city lie in early Celtic and Roman settlements that created a Medieval, Baroque city. Photographer John D. Weigand and award-winning author, attorney and former teacher, Penelope Dyan visited Vienna just before Christmas and saw many things that would delight a child. Dyan believes the key to traveling well with a child, especially a young one, is to not put them into overload.
Tales from a Finnish Tupa
by James Cloyd Bowman, Margery Williams Blanco: First published in 1936, this book presents tales of magic like “The Mouse Bride” and “Antti and the Wizard’s Prophecy,” droll stories such as “The Pig-Headed Wife,” and fables from the collections of Eero Salmelainen and Iivo Härkönen, sharing Finnish wisdom on topics from the end of the world to how the Rabbit earned his self-respect. Featuring hand-rendered illustrations in full color, Tales from a Finnish Tupa
is a folklore gem for all ages
Little Philippe of Belgium
by Madeline Brandeis: This scarce antiquarian book is a facsimile reprint of the original. Due to its age, it may contain imperfections such as marks, notations, marginalia and flawed pages. Because we believe this work is culturally important, we have made it available as part of our commitment for protecting, preserving, and promoting the world’s literature in affordable, high quality, modern editions that are true to the original work.
by Madeline Donaldson:Pack your bags! We’re headed to Greece. On this whirlwind tour, you’ll learn all about the country’s landscape, culture, people, and more. We’ll explore Greece’s bustling cities and scenic islands, visit an amazing temple called the Parthenon, and snack on stuffed grape leaves and a pastry made from honey. A special section introduces Greece’s capital, language, population, and flag. Hop on board and take a fun-filled look at your world.
Foods of Iceland by KidHaven Press
(not just about food): Studying world cultures has never tasted so good! A delectable blend of geography, history, health, daily life, celebrations, and customs. A Taste of Culture offers a rich array of culinary and cultural elements. Specifically prepared for upper-elementary and lower-middle school students, each volume in this series introduces a country and its culture by way of its foods, cooking traditions, recipes, customs, eating habits and food sources.
The Story of Ireland
by Richard Brassey: Comic, colorful, and succinct, with short text-bytes, lots of pictures, and jokey captions, this is a brilliant introduction to the story of Ireland. From its pictorial endpaper maps to the panels of “Irish Icons” ranging from Brian Boru to the Abbey Theatre, it is packed with useful and fascinating information. A story that is often complicated and turbulent is told with sensitivity and clarity, from the first legends right up to the present day.
by Brock Cole: When Maggie, Kate, and little Nora go to stay with their grandmother in the city, they beg her to let them play outside, but she’s too afraid. Her back is bad, her feet are bad, and her head is full of worries. That night when the girls find their way into their grandmother’s dreams, they realize they can do something to make the worries go away.
The Miracle Dogs of Portugal
by Tracy Aiello: Miracle Dogs of Portugal is the almost-true story of historical figure Henry the Navigator and the dog that saved his life – Milagro the Portuguese Water Dog. Set against a backdrop of actual historical events, the story is sure to remind kids of all ages to love their friends, summon their courage and follow their dreams.
Welcome to Spain
by Mary Berends: Explore Spain and learn about its history, geography, food, special celebrations, and pastimes. Includes full-color photographs, table of contents, sidebars, map, native-language word list, glossary, research sources, and index.
Isabel Saves the Prince
by Joan Holub: Young Isabel loves her peaceful life. But when the king summons her and her brother, Alfonso, to live with him, Isabel knows they have no choice but to go. She is worried because the king’s way of life is very different — what if she and her brother don’t fit in? Then the king’s men accuse Alfonso of treason, and Isabel knows she must step up and do what’s right — for her brother and for Spain.
Kidnapped in Sweden (Screech Owl Series)
by Roy MacGregor: The Screech Owls are off to Stockholm to take part in the first-ever International Goodwill Peewee Tournament, featuring teams from Finland, Norway, the Czech Republic, Germany, and Russia, as well as from all over Sweden.
by Charles Phillips: Step inside Sweden, land of contradictions. Discover the secrets of one of the world’s most equitable economies. Meet King Carl XVI Gustaf, Sweden’s head of state. Meet the rugged Nordic race who inhabit this land of ice, snow, and midnight sun. Let Sweden’s starkly beautiful lake and forest landscapes fill you with serenity.
by Lyn Larson: Pack your bags! We’re headed to Switzerland. On this whirlwind tour, you’ll learn all about the country’s landscape, culture, people, and more. We’ll explore Switzerland’s snow-capped mountains and famous rivers, see horned ibex and chamois, watch bears playing at an outdoor park, and sample delicious cheese and chocolate.
by Johanna Spyri: What happens when a little orphan girl is forced to live with her cold and frightening grandfather? The heartwarming answer has engaged children for more than a century, both on the page and on the screen. Johanna Spyri’s beloved story offers youngsters an endearing and intelligent heroine, a cast of unique and memorable characters, and a fascinating portrait of a small Alpine village.
The Secret Garden by Frances H. Burnett: When spoiled child Mary Lennox loses her family to a cholera outbreak, she moves to her uncle’s manor surrounded by a massive garden. Within, Mary discovers a whole new outlook on life thanks to a supportive household and the garden’s power of healing.
ONE MORE THING:
Did you know that 70% of all kids quit organized sports by the age of 13, with girls quitting at 6x the rate of boys?
Alison Foley, Boston College’s Women’s Head Soccer Coach, and Mia Wenjen, parenting blogger at PragmaticMom.com, help coaches — both parent volunteer and professional — crack the code of how to keep girls in sports. As a mother of two daughters who played a lot of sports, Mia provides personal accounts to illustrate issues discussed throughout the book. Alison, also a mother of a young female athlete, has hands-on advice from coaching young women professionally for more than two decades.
Volunteer parents and experienced coaches alike will find invaluable advice on creating a successful team that motivates girls to stay in sports beyond the middle school years. Twenty-two chapters cover major issues, including how to pick captains, the importance of growth mindset, issues around body image and puberty, as well as the challenges of coaching your own daughter.
In addition, fifteen professional coaches from a range of sports, including former Olympian athletes, give their advice on what girls need from a coach to allow them to flourish in sports, and most importantly, have fun. This is a hands-on manual to help coaches keep girls in sports! Go HERE to read more about this much-needed resource for parents and coaches.