Because Amelia Smiled: how a little girl's smiles went round the world and back

Because Amelia Smiled: how a little girl's smiles went round the world and back

This is a wonderfully circular book. Amelia smiles, her smile is contagious and spreads all around the world and finally finds its way back to her - and she smiles again!

I love a book that shows (but doesn’t preach about) the interconnectedness of people around the world – this book manages exactly that.

And I think the key is the joyfulness of the illustrations. There’s a fuzziness* to them that invites the reader into the edges of the world each character inhabits. 

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movie night: Children of Heaven + a lovely friendship book

movie night: Children of Heaven + a lovely friendship book

ages 5 years and up (if you're willing to read out subtitles)
Here’s a wonderful movie that you might like to try for a family movie night. Children of Heaven is an Iranian film about a boy who loses his sister’s only pair of shoes. Their family is poor and their mother is ill so the children conspire to share the boy’s shoes. It’s sad, funny, charming and troubling all at once. 

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kindness is not a cultural construct - history worth remembering

kindness is not a cultural construct - history worth remembering

Set in Paris, France. A wonderful, inspirational book that speaks of the little-known history of Muslim heroes in Paris during World War II and their rescues of Jews, Resistance fighters, Allied pilots, and prisoners of war.
ages 10 to grown-up

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a beautiful way to think about food, abundance and responsibility

a beautiful way to think about food, abundance and responsibility

ages 3 to grownup
For adults, teens and children ... an eye opening look at the way the world eats.  Families around the world are pictured with a weeks worth of food. The contrasts are extraordinary, it's fascinating stuff.  

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extremities require courage and resilience

extremities require courage and resilience

ages 4 years to grownup
Set in Mozambique, this beautifully told and illustrated story is inspiring and full of wonder in itself, but becomes even more so when the true story is told alongside it. It shows the courage and strength of a young mother in crazy circumstances.

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the wonder and blessings of a meaningful life enhanced by literacy

the wonder and blessings of a meaningful life enhanced by literacy

ages 4 to 8 years
Set in Egypt, this is an ever so slightly suspenseful book to read aloud and it's then so very peaceful in its resolution. Ahmed has a secret—and it’s a good one! I love this book and can hardly count the number of times I've given it as a gift.

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sobering and ponderous and breathtaking

sobering and ponderous and breathtaking

ages 8 years and up
This is a truly remarkable book – the sort that makes you gasp and know that it needs to be in your house, on your table and hopefully in the hearts of your family. It’s a refugee story and perhaps a Christmas fable - there’s a mother and a baby, a father and a donkey. 
 

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