Perfect Picture Book Friday – Lala Salama – Celebrating Universal Children’s Day

Today is a special Perfect Picture Book Friday.

At the suggestion of Pat at Children’s Books Heal and Vivian at Positive Parental Participation, since today is the anniversary of the date in 1954 that the UN General Assembly recommended there should be a Universal Children’s Day, we are doing our part to raise awareness of the plight of children around the globe and to promote the welfare of children in the world by posting books which focus on multicultural/multiracial issues, human rights, and/or children who have helped to change the world in some way.  (The actual date of Universal Children’s Day is November 20 – we are celebrating the day it came into being!)

I quickly discovered that the books that leapt instantly to mind in this category (Beatrice’s Goat, One Hen, etc…) have already been expertly reviewed by others for previous PPBFs.  So I chose a book for younger readers that shows a way of life very different from my own.  I hope you like it as much as I do.

Lala Salama: A Tanzanian Lullaby
Written By: Patricia MacLachlan
Illustrated By: Elizabeth Zunon
Candlewick Press, November 2011, Fiction

Suitable For: ages 3-7

Themes/Topics: day-in-the-life, bedtime, lullaby, multicultural

Opening: “Long ago, this morning, the sun rose above our house, spilling light over the hills of the Congo and the lake with the beautiful name, Tanganyika, like a song.  Lala salama, little one.”

Brief Synopsis: (From the jacket) The rhythm of the Tanzanian day inspires the melody of the evening’s lullaby in this sweet song of family life.

Links To Resources: It’s important for children to learn about the world they live in, and understand that not everyone lives the same life they do.  This book offers a wonderful opportunity for children to explore how things in their life compare to things in this book – ask, how are your clothes alike or different from the baby’s clothes?  Does your home look like the homes in the book?  How is it the same or different?  Do you take a bath the same way the baby does?  The baby’s father works on a fishing boat – what does your father do?  The baby’s mother carries him in a sling on her back – how are babies carried where you live, or are they put in strollers or swings?  This baby has monkeys and zebras nearby – what animals live near you?  The story offers a great opportunity to talk about how life is the same everywhere on some levels, and yet very different on others.

Why I Like This Book:  The language in this book is rhythmic, soothing and beautiful – just like a lullaby.  The story takes readers through a day in the life of a family on the shore of Lake Tanganyika in Tanzania.  The gorgeous illustrations give a glimpse of what the scenery is like, how people dress, where they live, what they do.  The story is not long – easily short enough for a very young child, but offers an idea of what life is like in another part of the world, perhaps very different from what the reader has experienced.  This is a beautiful book, perfect for bedtime!

For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.

PPBF bloggers, please leave your post-specific links in the list below.  I’m really looking forward to reading everyone’s choices for Universal Children’s Day!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

“WHAT!” I heard you gasp.  That’s it?

I realize this may be my shortest post ever, but seriously, you have not been in my house this week where life has been a three-ring circus 🙂  Plus I just realized that somebody had the bright idea of posting the Holiday Contest on Saturday the 15th which is – you got it! –  TOMORROW!  (I don’t know who is in charge around here, but apparently she has horsefeathers for brains!)  Honestly, it’s going to be pretty much of a miracle if my sample entry is ready by then, because let’s face it that’s in like 12 hours! so I might be posting the official post and putting up the list and then adding in my sample entry Sunday or Monday 🙂  Just warning you :))  But I totally can’t wait to read everyone’s entries!  I hope there are some 🙂  OK.  Really.  Happy weekend! 🙂

55 thoughts on “Perfect Picture Book Friday – Lala Salama – Celebrating Universal Children’s Day

  1. Barbara Gruener says:

    This book looks perfectly serene. I can't wait to pick up a copy. What a fun challenge this week, to find books with kids and a cause. I think mine fits the bill and I can't wait to read all the others.

  2. Robyn Campbell says:

    Pat and Vivian are thinking (and living) outside the box. What a wonderful idea. Great choice, Susanna! That opening is lovely. I'm going to do one next week. I reviewed a really good picture book and want to share it. Not sure if mine will be ready by tomorrow either. CRAZY week! (I did have two short stories accepted for publication. 🙂 Lovin' you woman!

  3. Laura Miller says:

    This looks beautiful. I'm intrigued by the illustrations too. I just didn't have time to write for you awesome Holiday Contest 😦 but I'm looking forward to reading the posts. I also have glitter and poster board and lights and garland everywhere getting ready for our Christmas program. We only had one minor incident at the practice when my granddaughter was ringing her bell with her eyes closed-got dizzy and fell into another child. 🙂

  4. Joanna Marple says:

    Susanna, forget the cleaning, just pretend your place is Santa's grotto the night before Christmas Eve. It's going to be a little messy.

    I know and love this sweet book. It is a great introduction for the very young to a faraway beautiful culture.

  5. Clarike Bowman-Jahn says:

    I love these kinds of multiracial cultural books. Your pick sounds magnificent. I love the cover, It's so lovely and your discussion questions are spot on.

    Thanks for giving us a reason to pick multicultural multiracial books for Universal Children's Day. I think celebrating in this way is perfect for PPBF. Thanks go to Vivian and Patricia for originally thinking of this idea. 🙂

  6. Angela Brown says:

    It's wonderful discovering unique differences in various cultures and how one these things are individually beautiful in their own ways. Gives a child and appreciation of their own culture while gaining knowledge of others.

  7. Vivian Kirkfield says:

    Thank you so very much, Susanna, for honoring Universal Children's Day this way…we are all going to benefit from having so many awesome multicultural books highlighted! I love the one you picked.
    And don't stress out…everything will work out with the Holiday Contest…I'm still writing mine…hope my boss doesn't mind me scribbling between customers. 🙂 🙂

  8. Julie Rowan-Zoch says:

    Susanna, are you at all aware how much PPBF is appreciated? I mean it, woman! I look forward to finding new titles and fun resources every week! Thanks you!!! And I love 'your' cover today, so warm and bright!

  9. Amy Dixon says:

    LOL, Susanna! I love how you say it is the shortest post ever only to follow it up with another paragraph 🙂 You are the best.

    Love your selection today, and your suggestions for doing a compare/contrast with our kids. I am hoping to be able to jump back into PPBF in the new year. I miss it!

  10. Laura Renauld says:

    Ooo….A lullaby. I love those! I didn't mention this in my post, but I spent a semester in Ghana in college, so Africa (and it's literature) have a special place in my heart. Oh, and those PPBF bookmarks are going to each child at my boys' preschool during their holiday book exchange next week. Yay!

  11. nrhatch says:

    Haha . . .

    Dashing through her blog, with horsefeathers for brains,
    Susanna makes us laugh . . . she rocks, she rolls, she reigns!

  12. Jarmila V. Del Boccio says:

    I can't believe I almost forgot to post my PPBF link! That's the way this day has gone. And, since I feel overwhelmed at this point, I will not be participating in the contest. But, I will enjoy reading them as they appear.
    I'm fascinated with how other cultures live, so your choice for PPBF sounds like just the ticket, Susanna!

  13. Darshana says:

    Lovely book choice. Wonderful idea to spotlight books that raise awareness about the plight of kids around the world.(ironic, considering today's events) Good luck with the holiday contest.

  14. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Yes, it's been one of those days! Glad you liked the selection and got your posted, and so sorry you won't be participating in the contest – I liked your entry last year. Here's hoping SOMEone enters or we won't have anything to read 🙂

  15. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Aw, thanks, Julie. I'm so glad you enjoy it. But it wouldn't be what it is without you and all the other wonderful people who contribute! I just wish I could do a better job getting the word out so more people could make use of it. And, as an artist, I think you'd enjoy this book – the paintings are beautiful!

  16. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    You are not a dunce! 🙂 And I hope this means you have an entry to post – I can't wait to read it! 🙂

    delores @ thefeatherednest (unregistered) wrote, in response to delores @ thefeatherednest:

    okay…now I see the problem…the christmas contest is tomorrow…what a dunce I am.

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  17. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Thank YOU for thinking up this wonderful idea with Pat. And as it turns out, this has been a sad but good day to honor children. The book I chose is very peaceful – something I wish was truer of the world. As for the contest, I am not stressed! I have written a gak-awful entry but it entertains me 🙂 and I am looking forward to reading any that come in!!! And you've got all the way til midnight Wednesday, so I'm sure you'll get it done! 🙂

  18. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    You're welcome, Beth. I hope you get a chance to read it some time. As for yours, I haven't had a chance to read your review yet, but I saw the title and I think it's maybe one of the most beautiful titles I've ever seen – so lovely!

  19. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Thanks for your permission to let my house go 🙂 You'll be happy to know I've now completed and absolutely gak-awful sample for the contest 🙂 You have my permission to laugh and point and make rude comments 🙂 I'm so glad someone else knows and loves this book – it's a beauty!

  20. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Glad you like the book! And there's never a dull moment around kids 🙂 I'm very sad you won't have an entry – you're about the 10th person whose said that today, so I'm wondering if any of us are going to have anything to read. This may be one for the rubbish bin. Oh well… we'll see 🙂

  21. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Robyn!!! That's fantastic!!! Congratulations!!! *cheers* *throws confetti* *does a victory dance in your honor!!!* And OH PLEASE send an entry – everyone is saying they want to read but aren't writing… so there won't be anything to read. And there are 5 fabulous critiques up for grabs! And you still have over 5 days! 🙂

  22. Patricia Tilton says:

    Such a beautiful cover and a lovely choice with a universal message. I love the resources and suggestions you made. Such a great idea to compare the differences of cultures. Was this the last PPB post for the holidays? Saw a comment on a blog.

  23. Kirsten Larson says:

    I know, I know. I was supposed to do Children's Day, but I was compelled to review Llama Llama. This sounds like a beautiful tale though, and I look forward to checking it out in the new year.

  24. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    So glad you liked my choice, Pat. I loved yours too! And let's see… we're going to skip PPBF next Friday the 21st because everyone will be busy and we'll also be in the middle of the holiday contest assuming we get any entries… but there will be a PPBF on the 28th if I can tear myself away from my extended family 🙂
    Susanna Leonard HillChildren's AuthorWebsiteBlogFace Book PageTwitter

    Subject: [susannaleonardhillblog] Re: Susanna Leonard Hill: Perfect Picture Book Friday – Lala Salama – Celebrating Universal Children's Day

  25. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Woo-hoo! That's the spirit!

    nrhatch (unregistered) wrote, in response to Susanna Leonard Hill:

    Yes. I plan to link up to the Pretty Much World Famous 2nd Annual Holiday Contest

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