Kindergarten Day USA and China
written by Trish Marx and Ellen B. Senisi
(Charlesbridge Books) 2010
Source: Orange County Public Library
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Kindergarten Day USA and China is an excellent resource if you want to teach young readers the skill of contrasting two or more things. Two kindergarten classes in Beijing and Schenectady, New York share their day, hour-by-hour, to show the similarities and differences in how two cultures address this important first year. My favorite part of the book is the section on celebrating birthdays. Both classes sing Happy Birthday and eat a dessert, but the kindergarten class in Beijing adds an interesting twist. On their birthday, a child is asked by the lao shi (teacher), "Tell us what you will learn to do, now that you are one year older." All of the children in the class begin to think about what they want to do, including reading longer words, riding bicycles, or learning how to tie their shoes. I think this is a great tradition. One of the most important themes that arises from reading this book is how much these two cultures have in common. On the great scale, this is sometimes forgotten in the heat of geopolitical battle.
I would also use this book to teach young readers how to use graphic organizers. You can teach about sequence charts, Venn diagrams, etc. There are a lot of possibilities with this interesting book.
Other reviews of Kindergarten Day:
Abby the Librarian