Sunday, December 25, 2011

In Case of Asian Studies With Children, Break Tuttle

Some Tuttle books already in the Post-Apocalyptic Homeschool collections:  Japanese, Indian, Chinese, Filipino, Korean, Malaysian and Tibetan Children's Favorite Stories
On Christmas Eve Eve Day (which is to say, Dec. 23), the whole family hit the Bowers Museum in Orange County to see the terra-cotta warriors exhibit, and the well-stocked gift shops there reminded me how much I love Tuttle books on Asian and Asian-American themes.

Tuttle is a Vermont-based publishing company that first caught my eye with their [Asian Country Name Here] Children's Favorite Stories series. I grew up with the venerable (and wonderful) Japanese Children's Favorite Stories, and now you can get a version of these beautifully illustrated storybooks for virtually every major Asian country. But the Tuttle booklist has been growing beyond Favorite Stories for quite a few years now (you can look at their spring 2012 catalog online), and there were a couple of titles at the Bowers book shop that caught my eye:

The Chinese Wonder Book by Norman Hinsdale Pittman, illustrated by Li Chu-T'ang, which is actually in the public domain (having been printed in 1919) and is available for free online via Project Gutenberg and other ebook publishers. Obviously you should just download the freebie if you and your kiddos like digital editions, but if you want a printed copy, an original edition starts at $75, and the new reprint from Tuttle is a much more managable $13. So so pretty.

Side note: Fairy-tale hunters, if you spot anything on a shelf that carries the title "wonder book," give it a look-see, as this phrase was a popular way of labeling fairy tale and folklore compilations around the turn of the century (probably due to the success of Nathaniel Hawthorne's A Wonder-Book for Girls and Boys in the 1850s).

Another title that caught my eye was the adorable Japanese Celebrations: Cherry Blossoms, Lanterns and Stars!, which via the Internet (whee!) introduced me to several other titles by Betty Reynolds, wherein she makes Japanese culture easily accessible for children. If my kiddo is ever lucky enough to get into the Japanese-language immersion program at the local elementary school, don't think her books won't be flying into our house post-hasty.

In the meantime, history dorks will enjoy the Tuttle Publishing About Us page, which briefly explains how New England antiquarians and Occupied Japan intersected to create this outstanding institution.

Long story short, if you're ever on the hunt for well-edited and respectful books about Asian history and culture, be they intended for children or otherwise, Tuttle may have what you need!

1 comment:

  1. I had no idea that the Terra-Cotta warriors were here in Cali! I've got to figure out a way to get down to SoCal before March...