ADOPTION AND THAI CULTURAL BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ADULTS (click here for kids' books) Contact the Webmaster with your recommendations and comments. Unless otherwise noted, these books are still in print, as far as the Webmaster knows. Some Thai culture titles now unavailable in the U.S. are available from the Website of AsiaBooks.
Adopted From Asia: How it Feels to Grow Up in America. Frances Koh. Based on interviews with Korean adoptees, an exploration of issues including prejudice, racial identity, family relationships, and birthparents. Appropriate for both Asian-American teens and their adoptive parents. ISBN: 0960609067.
Adopting and Advocating for the Special Needs Child. L. Anne Babb and Rita Laws. Published in 1997, a guide for those who have adopted (or hope to adopt) a child with special needs. ISBN: 0897894898.
Adopting the Hurt Child : Hope for Families With Special-Needs Kids : A Guide for Parents and Professionals. Gregory C. Keck and Regina M. Kupecky. Compassionate and knowledgeable analysis and advice; especially good for families whose children have suffered abuse, neglect, or multiple placements. ISBN: 1576830942.
Adoption Parenting: Creating a Toolbox, Building Connections. Jean
MacLeod and Sheena Macrae, editors. Easy-to-use primer on adoptive
parenting by topic (food, sleep, language, "claiming," etc.) Includes
contributions from over 100 experienced adoptive parents. What to
expect... what to do. ISBN: 0972624457.
Are Those Kids Yours? American Families with Children Adopted from Other Countries. Cherie Register. A classic in the international adoption field; thought-provoking literature that will make you ask yourself questions that might never have occurred to you before. This is a must-read for any family new to international adoption. ISBN: 0029257506.
Attaching in Adoption: Practical Tools for Today's Parents. Deborah D. Gray. The first adoption-oriented attachment book ever published "covers the full range of attachment challenges-from the transitory to the traumatic and from infancy to adulthood," according to "Adoptive Families" reviewer Amy Klatzin. "Gray's approach is positive, practical, and realistic, providing age-specific advice with clear explanations of developmental stages and checklists to help parents assess how their child is doing at each stage. The best part, for those of us who adopted before this book was published, is that it's never too late to learn." Also see Gray's "Nurturing Adoption," below. ISBN: 0944934293.
Being Adopted: The Lifelong Search for Self. David
Marshall Schechter, and Robin Henig. Even-handed, scholarly exploration
of adoptees' typical psychological development throughout life, from
childhood to old age. ISBN: 0385414269.
Beyond Consequences, Logic, and Control: A Love-Based Approach to Helping Attachment-Challenged Children with Severe Behaviors. Heather T. Forbes and B. Bryan Post. Practical tips for interacting with challenging kids. ISBN: 0977704009.
Beyond Good Intentions: A Mother Reflects on Raising Internationally Adopted Children. Cherie Register. A new book from the author of the classic "Are Those Kids Yours." No punches pulled in this thoughtful exploration of the social and racial dynamics of international adoption, informed by real-world experience and the advice of adult adoptees. Great tips for raising a psychologically healthy child. ISBN: 1597430005.
Building the Bonds of Attachment: Awakening Love in Deeply Troubled Children. Daniel A. Hughes. A Thai-adopt database member recommends this 1999 volume. She says: "It reads like a novel but offers excellent insights on early childhood bonding and strategies for parenting children who have experienced pain and loss. Though this book focuses on a severely neglected and abused child, it offered me considerable insights into what our son, now 5 years old, likely missed in terms of a bonding experience during early childhood since he was raised in an orphanage setting and without parents of his own for four long years. The book gives a lot of concrete strategies for helping a hurt child develop a healthy identity, build strong attachments, and live a happy and healthy life in his/her new family." ISBN: 0765702371.
Dim Sum, Bagels, and Grits: A Sourcebook for Multicultural Families. Myra Alperson. Written by a single adoptive parent, the book seeks to explore practical ways that adoptive families have incorporated children’s birth cultures into their daily lives. Publisher’s Weekly said: “…[Alperson] provides an expansive resource directory for everything from adoption agencies and publications to Web sites and sources for multicultural toys.” ISBN: 0374526117.
Discipline Without Shouting or Spanking: Practical Solutions to the Most Common Preschool Behavior Problems (revised and expanded edition). J. Wyckoff and B.C. Unell. Database member Marg Dochoda writes: “My son had many behavioral issues upon arrival, and Discipline Without Shouting or Spanking was the most referenced took on my parenting bookshelf. Frequently, I would grab this little book for a quick read and some practical suggestions on how to deal with his latest transgression. I have given many copies over the years to new parents.” ISBN: 0743228545.
An Educator's Guide to Adoption is available from The Institute for Adoption Information for $7.75 per copy. 22-page pamphlet designed to increase teacher understanding of adoption, help teachers deal with awkward situations, provide classroom resources for integrating adoption into curriculum, point out possible "problem" assignments (family trees, baby pictures, etc.). A great resource to share with your child's classroom teacher.
Hate Hurts: How Children Learn and Unlearn Prejudice is a new publication by the Anti-Defamation League. Authors Caryl Stern-LaRosa and Ellen Hofheimer Bettmann offer tips, advice, and role-playing ideas for difficult situations. An essential tool to help adults teach children not to hate, with sections addressing "Understanding Hate," "Responses to Hate," and "Challenging Hate Outside the Home." Excellent for Caucasian families struggling to help their minority children deal with prejudice. ISBN 0439211212.
Helping Children Cope with Separation and Loss. Claudia Jewett-Jarratt. Designed to helping parents help their children cope with and recover from a loss, including the loss of previous caregivers. Not only for adoptive families; covers divorce, death, other situations. Offers many specific, helpful strategies. ISBN: 1558320512.
The Inner World of the Immigrant Child. Christina Ioga. Author, an immigrant and a teacher of immigrant children, provides useful educational and sociological information for families who are adopting older children, particularly those of school age. ISBN: 0805880135.
Inside Transracial Adoption. Gail Steinberg and Beth Hall. Written by white a-parents who urge a more sophisticated understanding of the ramifications for kids of being transracially adopted. Authors are the founders of PACT, An Adoption Alliance. ISBN: 0944934242.
Making Sense of Adoption: A Parent's Guide. Lois Ruskai Melina. Good tips for how to talk to children about adoption in a way appropriate to their developmental stage. Includes sample conversations covering sensitive ways to handle disturbing information about a child's beginnings. ISBN: 0060963190.
Nurturing Adoption: Creating Resilience After Neglect and Trauma.
Deborah D. Gray. Treasure trove of research, tips, and strategies
for parenting children whose lives have been touched by trauma, loss,
and grief. Great information on how less-than-optimal early life
experiences impact cognitive and emotional development. Also see
"Attaching in Adoption," above. ISBN:
Of Many Colors: Portraits of Multiracial Families. Peggy Gillespie. Coffee-table book filled with photos of 39 families created through adoption or interracial marriage. People depicted discuss racial issues and relationships. ISBN: 1558491015.
Older Child Adoption. Grace Robinson. Tips and research for families who have adopted children over the age of two. Good advocacy information, though some may find the severity of problems described is not representative of overall outcomes with older adopted children. ISBN: 0824517075.
Our Own: Adopting and Parenting the Older Child. Trish Maskew. In a post to the thailandadopt listserv, an a-parent wrote: "With the recent addition of our third 'older' child, I'm still no expert, and I've found this book to be very useful for day-to-day parenting issues. It also has a very positive tone. Trish Maskew is an adoptive parent and in writing the book she talked with dozens of adoptive families. She backs up their stories with research and information from many adoption professionals. She describes it as a parent-to-parent book." ISBN: 0966970128.
Real Parents, Real Children: Parenting the Adopted Child. Holly van Gulden and Lisa M. Bartels-Rabb. A book that's been called "the Dr. Spock of adoptive parenting." A fine general text touching on all the relevant issues. ISBN: 0824515145.
Talking with Young Children about Adoption. Mary Watkins and Susan Fisher. Fascinating reports on how youngsters "process" adoption issues in their daily lives. Includes sample conversations, plus an excellent literature review debunking much of the common wisdom regarding dire outcomes for adoptees. ISBN: 0300063172.
Toddler Adoption: The Weaver's Craft. Mary Hopkins Best. Published in 1997, an enlightening, if sometimes sobering, account of the wide range of experiences reported by families who have adopted children between 12 and 36 months old. Sensible coping strategies are offered, which may be useful even for kids older than the target range of the book. ISBN: 0944934218.
Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew. Sherrie Eldridge, 1999. Easy-to-follow and pithy, this book summarizes the thoughts and experiences of a domestic adoptee in the age of closed adoptions. Sound advice about grieving, anniversary reactions, feelings of shame and abandonment, birthdays, lack of medical history, and other possible issues of concern to adoptees. ISBN: 044050383X.
Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? And Other Conversations About Race. Beverly Daniel Tatum. The subtitle says it all: "A psychologist explains the development of racial identity." Thought-provoking ideas about blackness, whiteness, and other racial constructs. An adoptive parent of a Thai child says the book is "full of interesting and pertinent insight on race identity. This parent of a transracially adopted preadolescent learned the importance for my son of exposure to Asian-American peers." ISBN: 0465091296.
With Eyes Wide Open: A Workbook for Parents Adopting International Children Over Age 1. Good self-guided exercises for families preparing to adopt a toddler or young child. Published by Children's Home Society and Family Services (formerly Children's Home Society of Minnesota). Available through Tapestry Books and some other adoption book suppliers. ISBN: 096217291X.
Yellow: Race in America Beyond Black and White. Frank H. Wu.
An eclectic, incisive investigation-cum-meditation that, though
on Asian-Americans, recasts the United States' ongoing debate about
identity in all forms. Wu suggests that the widespread stereotyping of
Asian-Americans, while 'superficially positive,' is inherently
THAI-THEMED BOOKS (with special thanks to Marg Dochoda for her input)
The Accidental Asian. Eric Liu. Not Thai, but a good exploration of the ramifications of being Asian-American at the turn of the 21st century. Author is an American-born Chinese (or ABC, as he refers to himself) professional, married to a Caucasian woman. Provoked some controversy among other Asian-Americans who apparently thought Liu's middle class background and relative lack of deep scars made him ill equipped to write on the subject. Others gave it glowing reviews. ISBN: 0679448624.
Culture Shock! Thailand. Robert & Nanthapa Cooper. Like most titles in the series, this one can be annoyingly condescending to the subject country at times. Written mainly for expatriates working in Thailand. Despite its flaws, offers an easy-to-digest and useful overview of customs and etiquette, helping visitors avoid blunders. ISBN: 1558680586.
Dream of a Thousand Lives: A Sojourn in Thailand. Karen Connelly. Published in Canada in 1993 under the title "Touch the Dragon; A Thai Journal," this renamed 2001 edition marks the book's initial U.S. release. The memoir is based on the journal Connelly wrote as a teenage exchange student in a small village in northern Thailand. Exquisite, lyrical prose, filled with sharp observations of Thai culture and the inevitable clash between Eastern and Western ideas. ISBN: 158005062X.
The English Governess at the Siamese Court. Anna Leonowens. What's all the "King and I" fuss about? Read the original ... and scandalously embroidered/fabricated ... memoirs of the famous/infamous Anna. ISBN: 0812570626. Also see Leonowens' equally scandalous The Romance of the Harem (ISBN: 0813913284); the Univ. of Virginia reissue has a very good introductory essay with a balanced view of Leonowens' strengths as well as editorial "sins." Then check out the Thai Students discussion of Anna ...
Essays on Thailand. Thanapol Chadchaidee (ed., 4th edition). Published by D.K. Today Co. Ltd., this handy volume was purchased by an adoptive parent in Chiang Mai. Covers Thai festivals, foods, historical events, social relationships, exports, and other topics of interest in about 170 info-packed pages. Not easily available in the U.S. -- look out for it when traveling to Thailand!
Family Life in a Northern Thai Village: A Study in the Structural Significance of Women. S. Heins Potter. Readable history of the fates of one family, though written for an academic anthropology audience. ISBN: 0520040449. Out of print.
Inside Thai Society: Interpretations of Everyday Life. Niels Mulder. Scholarly study by a Dutch anthropologist, exploring Thai society and world views in detail. Not an easy read, since he is anthropologist writing for other anthropologists, but invaluable for those who wish to learn what may lie behind the Thai smile. ISBN: 9054960272.
The Lioness in Bloom: Modern Thai Fiction About Women. Susan Fulop Kepner, editor and translator. I happily wandered upon this interesting book during an Amazon search. It's divided into sections about mothers, wives & lovers, and daughters, and doesn't pull punches regarding controversial subjects such as female sexuality, spousal abuse, and gender oppression. Though some stories are grim, others are quite funny. Taken together, they give a vivid picture of the life of Thai women in the modern era. ISBN: 0520089030.
Living Buddha, Living Christ. Thich Nhat Hanh. Seminal volume by a prolific Vietnamese Buddhist monk and writer. A humility-filled exploration of places where Christianity and Buddhism can meet each other in harmony. Recommended for families working to reconcile Christian practice with honoring a Thai child's birth heritage. ISBN: 1573225681.
Lonely Planet Thailand. Joe Cummings, Sandra Bao, Steven Martin, and China Williams. Now in its 11h edition, this is the quintessential travel guide from one of LP's best writers. Cummings has been traveling in Southeast Asia since the early 80s and delivers straightforward information that's enlightening even if you're not traveling soon. Also see LP Bangkok, also by Cummings (with China Williams), as well as LP's "Destination Thailand" Website. ISBN: 0864426364.
Mai Pen Rai Means Never Mind. Carol Hollinger. Memoirs of a
who taught English at Chulalongkorn Univ. in the 1960s. Many witty,
and noncondescending observations on what happens when East meets West
in Thailand. Out of print in the U.S.; available from AsiaBooks.
Monsoon County.Pira Sudham. Published in 1991, nominated for Nobel Prize in Literature. Novel set in England, Thailand, and Germany, spanning 20 years of cultural tensions and clashes between old values and new power in Thailand. Thai author writing in English. ISBN: 0920911846.
Phra Farang: An English Monk in Thailand. Phra Peter Pannapaddippo. Middle aged businessman metamorphoses into practicing Buddhist monk while being initiated into unfamiliar Southeast Asian culture. ISBN: 9742020191. Out of print in the U.S.; available from AsiaBooks.
Temples and Elephants: Travels in Siam in 1881-1882.Carl Bock. Scandinavian traveler's memorirs of trips from Bangkok to the Golden Triangle. ISBN: 9748299902.
Thailand: A Short History. David K. Wyatt. "Short" it's not, but Wyatt's work is a core volume for anyone interested in the tangled ins and outs of Thailand's long history as a kingdom and political entity, up to the mid-1980s. ISBN: 0300035829.
Thailand : The Lotus Kingdom. Alistair Shearer. Fascinating 1989 study of Thai culture, including a particularly enlightening discussion of the Thai sex trade (why it developed, why it continues). Out of print in the U.S.; check interlibrary loan.
Thailand: True Stories of Life on the Road. Travelers' Tales Guides. James O'Reilly and Larry Habegger, editors. Fascinating collection of nonfiction by a wide variety of (mostly Western) authors discussing experiences in Thailand. A great read; like browsing a pile of intriguing snapshots. ISBN: 1885211058.
Thai Ways. Dennis Segaller. Compilations
of insightful columns originally published in the Bangkok World
newspaper. Out of print in the U.S.; available from AsiaBooks. Out of print is a
second book "More Thai Ways," though a new expanded edition of "Thai
Ways" may contain some of the same essays.
Thailand's Reproductive Revolution: Rapid Fertility Decline in a Third-World Setting. J. Knode., A. Chamratrithirong, N. Debavalya. Anthropological study regarding Thailand's experiences with population control through education. ISBN: 0299110540.
True Thai: The Modern Art of Thai Cooking. Victor Sodsook, Theresa Volpe Laursen, Byron Laursen. Want to make real, authentic Thai food? This is the book for you. From homemade curry pastes to sweet sticky rice, Sodsook (a California restauranteur born in Thailand) shows you the ropes. (Keep the Thaigrocer Web site in mind when you're looking for hard-to-find ingredients.) ISBN: 0688099173.
The World's Religions. Huston Smith. Classic, readable survey of the world's major religions, with an illuminating discussion of the differences between Therevada (Thai form), Mahayana, and Zen Buddhism. The Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path are well explained, and there is a good discussion of Buddhism's roots in (and rebellion against) Hinduism. ISBN: 0062508113.
WYSIWYS (What You See is What You Say) Thai Phrase Handbook.
Eric Allyn and Somboon Inpradith. Entertaining phrase book with a ton
cultural lessons and tips wrapped up inside. Authors promise that their
unique transliteration system will help you keep from embarrassing
in your attempts to speak Thai. ISBN: 0942777042.
BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS FOR KIDS
ADOPTION/MULTICULTURAL BOOKS FOR KIDS
Growing Up Asian American: Stories of Childhood, Adolescence and Coming of Age in America, from the 1800s to the 1900s. Maria Hong, ed. 32 Asian American writers offer varied perspectives on growing up and being Asian American. High school and up. ISBN: 0380724189.
Happy Adoption Day. John McCutcheon. Colorful picture book for young children, depicting parents getting on a plane to be united with a much-loved child. Fun rhyming text matches the lyrics of McCutcheon's adoption anthem of the same name. ISBN: 0316554553.
Horace. Holly Keller. Imaginatively illustrated tale of a leopard adopted by a family of tigers. Story discusses how Horace and family deal with his dawning feelings of "not belonging" with the tiger clan. Sensitive exploration of sad thoughts, with a positive ending. ISBN: 0688098312.
How I Was Adopted. Joanna Cole and Maxie Chambliss. Recommended by a Thai-adopt database member; a picture book telling the story of how young Samantha was born and came into her family (domestic, closed agency adoption) and inviting readers to tell their own adoption stories. ISBN: 0836820096.
How it Feels to be Adopted. Jill Krementz. Widely praised volume for teens and preteens, examining the thoughts and feelings of 19 adoptees. A good read for parents, too. ISBN: 0394758536.
Let's Talk About It: Adoption. Fred Rogers. Adoption issues and feelings discussed in the typically sensitive Mr. Rogers manner, illustrated with photos of real families. For older preschoolers and young grade schoolers. ISBN: 0698116259.
A Mother For Choco. Keiko Kasza. Classic picture book for toddlers, preschoolers, and young grade schoolers, involving the "interracial adoption" of a bird by a bear. ISBN: 0698113640.
The Mulberry Bird: An Adoption Story. Anne Braff Brodzinsky
and Diana L. Stanley. Long-honored story of birthmother feelings about
making an adoption plan, as told from the viewpoint of a young bird who
cares for her offsping but is not ready to parent. Excellent
jumping-off point for family discussions, best for kids age 8-12. ISBN:
Over the Moon: An Adoption Tale. Karen Katz. Attractive picture book for toddlers, preschoolers, and young grade schoolers, showing an adoptive family flying to a far-away tropical destination (South America) to meet a new baby. ISBN: 0805050132.
Seeds of Love. Mary Petertyl. Picture book for preschoolers and young grade schoolers. A story centering around the feelings and experiences of a child whose parents must leave her temporarily for an overseas adoption journey. Suggests creative strategies for helping children cope with the absence of parents during adoption travel. ISBN: 0965575314.
The Skin I’m In: A First Look at Racism. Pat Thomas. An attractively illustrated little paperback that's an invaluable tool for helping white families explain racial discrimination to adoptees of color. A great springboard for discussion, the book encourages kids to accept and be comfortable with differences of skin color and other racial characteristics among their friends and in themselves. The publisher pegs the reading level at 4-8, but it’s a bit advanced for my four year old; I’d put it at something like 5-10.) ISBN: 0764124595.
Through Moon and Stars and Night Skies. Ann Turner. A beautiful little volume showing a young boy from Southeast Asia being escorted to join his family overseas. Poignant text and charming illustrations, though the child's experiences will not exactly parallel those of Thai adoptees. ISBN: 0064433080.
We See the Moon. Carrie Kitze. This book is intended to help internationally adopted children and their parents make an emotional connection to birthfamilies, using the moon as a personal and private tool. Adoption educator Jane Brown has developed a free downloadable user guide. ISBN: 0972624406.
We're Different, We're the Same. Bobbi Jane Kates. Elmo leads the Sesame Street characters in an exploration of all the ways that people's physical features and feelings may be different, yet highlights how all people are also alike. A fine toddler/preschooler introduction to diversity concepts. ISBN: 0679832270.
W.I.S.E. Up Powerbook. Thai d-base member, a-parent, and
educator Marilyn Schoettle has authored a pithy, 30-page guide for kids
age 6 to 12, filled with empowerment tools for handling
questions from friends, teachers, and even strangers. The book explains
techniques for (W)alking away, saying "(I)t's private," (S)haring some
information, or (E)ducating others. Highly recommended for kids and
THAI-THEMED BOOKS FOR KIDS
A Family in Thailand. (Families the World Over series). Ruth & Neil Thomson. Photographs and text describe the life and culture of a family living in Pa Bong, a village in northern Thailand. For older preschoolers, young grade schoolers. ISBN: 0822516845 .
Breath of the Dragon. Gail Giles. Written for upper elementary and middle schoolers, this easy-to-read tale highlights Thai culture on every page. It also may be inspirational for kids who are feeling "unlucky" or ostracized by peers due to their adoptive status or other issues. Quoting from the Booklist review: "Giles' poetic novel tells the story of Malila, a young Thai girl whose mother leaves her in the care of her grandmother after her father's sudden death. Malila later learns that her father was a thief, and the village shuns her as unlucky. … As she grows to adolescence, Malila's world is dominated by her grandmother's ways and traditional Thai customs, and she finds solace in drawing pictures to accompany the stories her grandmother tells. Her artistic talent is eventually recognized and encouraged by a teacher, and as the story ends, Malila realizes the richness of her own gifts and heritage." ISBN: 0440414962.
Even a Little Is Something: Stories of Nong. Tom Glass. A tasty helping of Thai village life is served up in this collection of 23 stories detailing a plucky 11-year-old girl's encounters with characters in a village of Northeastern Thailand. The tales "describe a culture rich with values and a strong people of great humor and warmth," according to bibliophile Marg Dochoda. Appropriate for advanced elementary kids and for middle schoolers. ISBN: 0208024573.
Festivals of the World: Thailand. Harlinah White. Lively
picture book; part of an ongoing worldwide series for ages 6 and
up. ISBN: 0836820096.
From Bangkok and Beyond: Thai
Children's Songs, Games and Customs. Pornprapit Phoasavadi and
Patricia Shehan Campbell. Book and CD including children's songs and
games, Thai map, cultural inormation, recipes, and so on. Great for
schools and group activities. ISBN: 0937204971.
The Girl Who Wore Too Much. Margaret Read MacDonald and Yvonne Lebrun Davis. Retelling of a traditional Thai folktale about a rural Thai girl whose vanity gets her into trouble. Has Thai as well as English text. Entertaining for older preschoolers and young elementary schoolers, especially girls. ISBN: 0874835038.
The Gold-Threaded Dress. Carolyn Marsden. Fourth-grader Oy
is the new girl in school. When a photograph that shows her in
ceremonial Thai dress falls on the ground, her classmates become
obsessively enchanted with this vision of her. The leader of the
clique, Liliandra, demands the dress as Oy's initiation fee to gain
admittance into the clubhouse. An almost unbearable conflict ensues
within her. This is a simple story about the painstaking effort of
trying to fit in. It's a perfect choice to read with youngsters
battling for friends, and caught within their own tangle of
popularity. Recommended for elementary schoolers (approx grade
3-5). ISBN: 0763629936.
The Happiness of Kati. Jane Vejajiva. From the ALA "Booklist" review: "In a simple, lyrical translation from the Thai, this small book tells a story of love and sorrow from the viewpoint of Kati, nine, who lives in a small coastal community with her grandparents. Questions about Kati's mother's long absence provide the suspense; no one in her large, loving, extended family speaks of her. Then Katie is taken to see Mother, who is dying, and the grief is almost overwhelming. But there is another mystery: Who is Kati's father? Does she want to know? The spare narrative widens to encompass homey details of traditional village life--including what people eat, how they cook, and more--but the culture is not presented as exotic or picturesque; Kati's wealthy, technologically savvy family is well-versed in international e-commerce. The pace is slow, but the spaces between the words evoke stirring drama close to home." For grades 4-7. ISBN: 1416917888
Hush! Mingfong Ho and Holly Meade. Fun toddler/preschool picture book about a mother in rural Thailand who goes around to all the animals in the surrounding forest, asking them to be quiet because baby is asleep .... or is he? Rhythmic text and bold illustrations; Caldecott Honor winner. ISBN: 0531095002.
I Once Was a Monkey. Jeanne M. Lee. Six "jataka" tales relate experiences of the Buddha in previous animal incarnations. Amusing and interesting for grade schoolers and their parents. Attractive linocut illustrations. ISBN: 0374335486.
The People of Thailand (Celebrating the Peoples and Civilizations of Southeast Asia). Dolly Brittan. Illustrated social-studies-style book (1997) for grades K-4, discussing history, language, ethnic groups, religion, food, and the economy. ISBN: 082395126X.
Rama and the Demon King.Jessica Souhami. Kids can become familiar with the story of the Ramayana (original Hindu version of what became the Ramakien, the Thais' national epic) by reading this colorful picture book. Written for primary and middle elementary school kids, it outlines the story of brave prince Rama, his longsuffering wife Sita, the demon king Ravana, and the monkey army that helps Rama regain his wife and throne. Shadow-puppet-style illustrations make ths story come alive. ISBN: 0789535609.
Rice Without Rain. Minfong Ho. A story of political rebellion
in northern Thailand, and how it affects the life of a 17-year-old girl
who gets caught up in a Bangkok student uprising. Commended by the
Library Assn. as a "best book" for young adults (age 12 and up). ISBN:
Silk Umbrellas. Carolyn Marsden. Noi, 11, lives in a small village in Thailand with her parents, her grandmother, and her older sister. Her carefree life, filled with family and school, is changing as farmland is sold to developers, costing her father his job. Money is scarce, and the girl is stunned when Ting is sent to work in a factory. Her horror grows when she visits her sister at her job one day and realizes that this might be her destiny as well. Noi, however, has other plans. Booklist Starred review for grades 3 to 6. ISBN: 0763622575.
Som See and the Magic Elephant. A touching but rather melancholy tale of a young Thai girl whose grandmother's last wish is to see a magic white elephant before she dies. Unusual batik-style illustrations. For elementary schoolers. ISBN: 0786800259.
A Tale of Two Rice Birds. Clare Hodgson Meeker and Christine
Lamb. Beautiful picture book retelling a classic Thai story of love and
reincarnation. Art is based on the style of traditional murals. Best
older elementary and middle schoolers. ISBN: 1570610088.
Thai Americans. Karen Price Hossell. Part of the "We Are America" series of children's books focusing on the immigrant experience in America. An illustrated overview of history and daily lives, suitable for children ages 7 to 9. ISBN: 1403450250.
Thai Tales: Folktales of Thailand. Supaporn Vathanaprida. 28
folk tales of various indigenous types. Most are quite short. Fun for
and teens, as well as their parents. ISBN: 1563080966.
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