Picture Books on different times and places: Thukpa for All, How I Learned Geography, Come On, Rain!, and Kamishibai Man

Thukpa for All, How I Learned Geography, Come On, Rain!, and Kamishibai Man, offer new perspectives on different times and places.

Thukpa for All by Praba Ram and Sheela Preuitt, illustrated by Shilpa Ranade. Karadi Tales Company, 2019, 32 pages.

cover image of thukpa for all

Reading Level: Picture Book, ages 4-8

Recommended for: Ages 4-8

Sound, touch, and smell are distinctive in this picture book that is about community, soup, sharing, and not seeing. Tsering is on his way to his Abi’s home in their mountain village for some of her famous thukpa (heartily seasoned vegetable soup with noodles) for supper. Along the way he invites friends and neighbors, and they are delighted to accept and bring something to share for the meal.

Unfortunately, while Abi is making the thukpa, the power goes out. How can she finish her preparations? “Lights on or off doesn’t matter to me,” Tsering observes. Then we realize that he is blind.

Using his keen sense of smell and touch, Tsering comes to the rescue and the thukpa is delicious. In this lovely story, the main character’s disability is an asset when the others are hindered by the dark. A recipe for thukpa is provided at the end.

Overall rating: 4 (out of 5)

Reading Level: Picture Book, ages 8-10

cover image of how i learned geography

How I Learned Geography by Uri Shulevitz. Farrar, Straus, & Giroux, 2008, 32 pages.

Reading Level: Picture book, ages 4-8

Recommended for: ages 4-8

A picture-book memoir by one of my favorite author-illustrators.

He describes his childhood as a Polish refugee, and how in their poverty his father bought a map instead of bread for dinner one night. Although his belly was empty, Uri’s hungry mind was fed and his imagination ignited.

Come On, Rain! by Karen Hesse, illustrated by Jon Muth. Scholastic, 1999, 32 pages.

cover image of Come on, rain!

Reading Level: Picture Book, ages 4-8

Recommended for: Ages 4-8

On a hot, dry day, a little girl sees rain coming and entices her friends and their mamas to join her, dancing in the street in the rain. Karen Hesse uses poetic imagery and sensory descriptions to create a refreshing read.

Overall rating: 4

cover image of kamishibai man

Kamishibai Man by Allen Say. Clarion, 2005, 32 pages.

Reading level: Picture Book, ages 4-8

Recommended for: Ages 4-8

An old man who used to tell his picture stories to children in Japan decides to go out on one of his old rounds. His wife makes the candies and he rides his old bicycle to town…but how much has changed! Is this really the same place? He sadly realizes that his stories have been replaced by television. How can his stories appeal to children compared with this new form of entertainment?

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Megan Saben

Megan is Associate Editor for Redeemed Reader, and she loves nothing more than discovering Truth and Story in literature. She is the author of Something Better Coming, and is quite particular about which pottery mug is best suited to her favorite hot drinks throughout the day. Megan lives with her husband and five boys in Virginia.

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