My Little Round House by Bolormaa Baasansuren.
Jilu was born into a round world. His cradle was round and soft. His home, a ger, was round with a round hole at the top. And the nest he rode in when they moved was round. Jilu lives in a nomadic Mongolian family, moving each season. Each time they move, they rebuild their round home, living there until another season has passed. When summer comes around again, Jilu is a year old, happily playing under the largest roundness of all, the sky.
This book is a vivid depiction of a culture we know far too little about. Created by Baasansuren, a native Mongolian, the illustrations are filled with small details of daily life. Resembling folk art, they are warm, familial and colorful. The words of the book are simple and a pleasure to read, offering the same rhythm as the seasons. There is a sense of time here that is unusual in our culture as well as a connection to the earth. People in the U.S. are struggling to find this sort of easy relationship with time and our world. Here is a picture book that exemplifies a culture where that is simply a part of daily life.
Highly recommended as a great glimpse into another culture and way of living, this book is appropriate for ages 5-7.