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It’s been so busy around here that I’ve been quite remiss in posting about our “Around the World in 12 Dishes” activities. We have actually been having fun with Cuba already, but before we jump there I have one more Mongolia post to share. You may recall the fun we had making a model of the traditional nomadic home, or ger. We also made some salty Mongolian milk tea (rather than write a full post about this I will send you to the wonderful article from Global Table Adventure and say that it was a fun experience, but we’ll likely not keep it on our regular menu).
And, of course, we read books! As Monkey is making the transition from picture books to early readers, this list contains both.
The Khan’s Daughter: A Mongolian Folktale is a wonderful adventure story – with a twist! I love the poor but courageous main character but also the surprising spirit of the princess whose hand he is trying to win. This picture book was also very helpful in giving visuals (in context) of a ger!
If you haven’t tried a Geronimo Stilton book, you really should! They are fun for early readers, since the text is written in a visually fun way (with words that pop out or have decorations), plus there are still plenty of pictures and maps. Geronimo is funny and endearing, though I find it maddening that he is always falling in love with some blonde mouse (real pet peeve of mine in children’s books). Valley of the Giant Skeletonswas fun for Monkey because there is lots of adventure, slap stick humor, and dinosaur bones. It was also great for me as his teacher, since not only do they visit a traditional ger (and drink milk tea!) as with all of the Geronimo books there is a general overview of local geography and culture.
I find it interesting that both of the early readers set in Mongolia deal with dinosaurs and play on the fact that Mongolia is considered to be the middle of nowhere. Alien Expedition (Alien Agent) by Pamela Service does a great job of challenging Mongolia as a “boring” travel destination (alien invasions tend to liven things up), plus I love the way that it honors traditions but also shows the modern side of the nomadic kids the main character meets – definitely a lesson in blending old and new. Now I’m really curious about the other books in this series, which focuses on a kid who learns he is actually an alien secret agent! Monkey is still a bit young for this book, but I know he will be enjoying it soon. I certainly did! (And in case you’re wondering, yes, we get to visit a ger in this story, too!)
Check out the other participating blogs to see what they have been cooking up: Adventures In Mommydom, Afterschool for Smarty Pants, All Done Monkey, Crafty Moms Share, Maroc Mama, Creative World of Varya, Glittering Muffins, Kid World Citizen, Mermaids’ Makings, The Educators’ Spin On It and The Mommy Talks. If you try a dish from Mongolia, we’d love to hear about it! You can link up your dish or craft here to share your post on all the participating blogs: