Samantha Vamos

Book Reviews

Parents Magazine, May 2009

"Around the World One Story at a Time"
by Barrie Gillies

"We all want to raise kids who respect people of different races, cultures, and religions. But what if your child doesn't live or go to school in an environment where she can learn firsthand about other ethnicities? That's where stories that celebrate the world's diversity come in. 'Sharing common human experiences through reading is one of the most effective ways to build understanding and respect,' says Kathleen T. Horning, director of the Cooperative Children's Book Center of the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. A great story will let your child step into someone else's shoes. 'Kids need to get caught up in a tale that involves characters they can relate to - regardless of differences in race or economic class,' says Vivian Gussin Paley, author of 12 book about life in the classroom. 'That way, cultural learning happens intuitively and intimately.' There are so many wonderful children's books that open a window into diverse experiences. We've picked out a few of our favorites."

Before You Were Here, Mi Amor
By Samantha R. Vamos
Members of a Latino family await the arrival of the new baby. Mami says to her: "Tu papi recited poesia cantada while strumming su guitarra, and tu abuela felt you kick." Check for translations in the glossary at the end.