Have you ever wanted to travel around the world? Taste the regional cuisine? Visit museums and monuments? Learn about the culture of the people? Well, you can do that with your family. We are traveling around the world through our year long Family Dinner Book Club.
Grab the passport and check out where we will travel in 2017. And, don’t forget to print out your FREE Around the World Family Dinner Book Club planner below.
What is a Family Dinner Book Club?
- On the first of each month, we provide all the details for your dinner.
- Sarah from Chef Sarah Elizabeth shares a themed menu to compliment the book.
- Laura from Sunny Day Family shares easy table crafts.
- And, I will share conversation starters and a service project for your family.
Here’s a little bonus tip…
Do you need a holiday gift for a family? Print out the FREE planner, grab a few or all of the books on this list, add a world map, and you have the perfect holiday gift!
So, where are we going?
Around the World Family Dinner Book Club Line-Up
Full Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.
I read over 100 books to find 12 that would make the best books for a Family Dinner Book Club. Luckily, I had some amazing resources to help me on my quest. The first was an amazing new book called Give Your Child the World by Jamie Martin. I also used fabulous multi-cultural book lists at What Do We Do All Day?, Pragmatic Mom, and Kid World Citizen. Plus, a lot of hours combing the shelves at my local library.
I tried to select books that would be appropriate for young children as Family Dinner Book Club is geared to families with kids ages 4-8. All of these books give a taste of each country and/or a story about families.
Usually, we alternate between a chapter and picture book each month. However, this year the list is heavy on picture books. This was because the subject matter in many of the chapter books was a little deep for little ones. Each month in 2017, I will share alternate titles if you prefer a different book.
We will be celebrating the Chinese New Year which begins January 28, 2017 by reading The Year of the Panda by Miriam Schlein. Learn how one community learned how to protect endangered panda bears after the pandas begin to wander to family farms in search of bamboo to eat.
Journey to South America and learn about a creative way to get books to children in remote villages as we read Waiting for the Biblioburro by Monica Brown.
We’ll read Anna Hibiscus by Atinuke to get a flavor for life in Africa as we learn about Anna’s big family.
After WWII, resources are scarce in Netherlands. Thanks to care packages from the United States, Katje and her community receive some much-needed gifts. Boxes for Katje by Candace Fleming is one of my favorites on this list.
The Peace Tree From Hiroshima: The Little Bonsai with a Big Story by Sandra Moore is a true story of how a little old tree traveled from Hiroshima to Washington DC as a sign of peace and friendship between Japan and the United States.
*Make sure to sign up for the Growing Book by Book newsletter because we will be giving away a copy of The Peace Tree From Hiroshima thanks to Tuttle Publishing in our monthly book giveaway.—>SIGN UP HERE
Sona and the Wedding Game by Kashmira Sheth doesn’t take place in India but, rather shares about an Indian wedding custom. Sona has to try and steal the groom’s shoes to recieve a special reward.
You may associate Astrid Lindgren with the Pippi Longstocking books. She also wrote The Children of Noisy Village which will be our chapter book for July. We will follow six children living on farms in Sweden through a year of traditions.
In October of 2016, Haiti suffered devasting loss from Hurricane Matthew. It’s not the first time that this country has been hit by a natural disaster. We’ll read Hope for Haiti by Jesse Joshua Watson which was written after a devasting earthquake struck the country. The kids turned to soccer and learned a lot about hope in the process.
Finding a widely available book for Australia that fit our criteria was definitely a challenge. We are going with The Pumpkin Runner by Marsha Diane Arnold. Joshua loves to run and he gets lots of energy from eating pumpkin slices. So this unconventional runner signs up to race from Melbourne to Sydney. But, winning isn’t the most important thing to him. The crowd can learn a thing or two from him. This book is based on a true story.
Grandfather’s Dream by Holly Keller takes us to the rebuilding of the land after the Vietnam War. A family has a dream of building dikes to welcome back the cranes. However, others in the village feel that the land would be better used for growing rice. Will grandfather’s dream come true?
November will be the perfect time to enjoy another favorite of mine on this list. The Family Under the Bridge by Natalie Savage Carlson is the story of a mother and her children who are living under a bridge. They meet another man (grandfather figure) who is also living under the bridge. The kids have an instant bond with the gentleman. They in turn, help each other discover the true meaning of kindness, friendship, and family.
Too Many Tamales by Gary Soto is read in our house every Christmas Eve as we prepare our traditional tamales. This is the story of a little girl who puts on her mother’s ring and then thinks she loses it in the masa dough. What will she and her cousins do?
Around the World Family Dinner Book Club FREE Planner
The very talented Laura from Sunny Day Family has put together a fantastic Family Dinner Book Club planner for you. This FREE resource comes with a book list, a planning guide (grocery list, supplies, needed, etc.), a passport sheet you can stamp for each country visited, and a world map to mark the countries you visited.
Clicking on the link above will take you to a screen to enter your email address. The planner will be emailed to you immediately. You will also receive the weekly Growing Book by Book newsletter.
All of the traveling fun begins on January 1, 2017. We will have your themed menu, table craft, conversation starters, and family service project ready for The Year of the Panda on Growing Book by Book, Sunny Day Family, and Chef Sarah Elizabeth. Plus, you can follow along and get more ideas at our Family Dinner Book Club Facebook Page where families share pictures of their dinners and we share bonus resources.