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Exploring Learning Shapes Through Different Cultures Via Children's Books

As children grow, they begin to discover the world around them – and no aspect of this growth process is as intriguing as learning about shapes. The nurturing and development of this critical cognitive ability have been ingeniously integrated into children’s books. Authors not only introduce basic and complex shapes but also cleverly tie them to different cultures, providing children with a unique perspective that's both educational and fascinating. In this blog post, we’re going to explore some of those exceptional children’s books that marry learning shapes with exploring different cultures.

'Round is a Tortilla: A Book of Shapes' by Roseanne Greenfield Thong is a beautiful example. Set against the backdrop of Latino culture, this charming book introduces children to circles, squares, and rectangles, but with a delightful twist – each shape represented through everyday objects from Latino life, from the roundness of a tortilla to the rectangular shape of an ice cream cart.

Another splendid example is 'Shapes Around Us' by Ganit and Adir Levy. This book widens the cultural scope by illustrating shapes using universally recognizable items. The triangle is seen in a simple slice of pizza, while the rectangle is found in our everyday cellphones. The authors brilliantly convey the message that irrespective of our diverse cultures, we’re all bound by these common shapes and objects.

Taking a more traditional route is 'My First Book of Islamic Months Fold-out' by Shajee Aijazuddin. The author uses classic Islamic architecture and symbols to educate children about basic shapes. The crescent linked with the Islamic star, the cube-shaped Kaaba, and the cylindrical minaret, are all employed magnificently to introduce shapes.

Creating a gateway for children to learn about shapes in the context of various cultures does not only open their minds to mathematical concepts but, more importantly, to global diversity and understanding. Each additional layer of context allows children to relate more personally with the abstract concept of shapes that surround them.

On a closing note, the intermingling of culture and shapes in children’s literature is an exciting trend. This approach gives children the opportunity to learn about shapes while exploring various cultures. As a parent, it's important to choose books that will not only nurture their intellectual growth but also highlight the beauty of diversity and promote global awareness.

Reading is magic. And what could be more magical than exploring the universality of shapes intertwined with the uniqueness of cultures?

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