Looking for an exotic destination you can introduce your kids to through the magic of literature? Why not explore books about Thailand for kids? Thailand is a mystical, beautiful realm of lush jungles, gorgeous beaches, sparkling temples, and bustling markets. It’s also known for diverse wildlife, especially its iconic Asian elephants.
Here are three fun reads that will bring the “Land of Smiles” to life for your children.
Hush! A Thai Lullaby and Peek! A Thai Hide-and-Seek by Minfong Ho and Holly Meade
We start with two books featuring unique parades of Thai wildlife. Hush! A Thai Lullaby tells the story of a young mother trying to keep her baby asleep. But the animal noises of the Thai jungle threaten her infant’s nap. Written in a charming rhyme, the mother asks the animals of the forest, one by one, to stay quiet while her little one naps. In the process, we meet the many creatures of Thailand including an elephant, buffalo, monkey, duck, pig, frog, mouse, cat, lizard, and mosquito.
The sequel to Hush! A Thai Lullaby, Peek! A Thai Hide-and-Seek tells the story of a lost little girl searching for her way back to her father. Along the way, the little girl meets a wide assortment of animals including a tiger, crocodile, elephant, snake, hornbill, monkey, turtle, puppy, rooster, and dragonfly. Both books feature whimsical illustrations by Holly Meade sure to keep your little ones occupied for hours. These books prove a lovely read for children ages four and up.
The Man Who Caught Fish by Walter Lyon Krudop
Based on a Thai folktale, The Man Who Caught Fish describes the story of a stranger with an uncanny ability to catch fish. In fact, he pulls up fish after fish to the amazement of locals who never bring in a full catch. What’s more, the stranger surprises expectations with his personal ethic “one fish, one person.” He generously gifts his catch to locals, one fish (and person) at a time. When the king demands the fisherman fill his basket, the stranger sticks to his rule of one fish per person.
In a rage, the king imprisons the stranger, obsessed by his prodigious fishing talent. But the plans the king has for the stranger get turned on their head. This book teaches valuable lessons about generosity and humility, and it’s a wonderful way to introduce children to Thai culture. The book’s beautiful illustrations emphasize Thai culture and the main lessons of the book. It’s a great read for ages six and up.
Tua and the Elephants by R.P. Harris and Taeeun Yoo
While you’re more than likely familiar with the plight of African elephants, endangered by the ivory trade, Asian elephants also face extinction, the result of exploitation and mistreatment, often in the name of entertainment and tourism. Tua and the Elephants seeks to raise awareness about the plight of Asian elephants living in a refuge park in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Tua is a courageous heroine motivated to save a young elephant from cruel handlers.
To help the elephant, she visits the night markets of Chiang Mai, hides in a Buddhist temple, and makes a mad dash with the little pachyderm to the elephant sanctuary. The villains in this book are truly bad guys. But they’re also portrayed in a cartoonish way that keeps them from giving kids nightmares. This book is recommended for kids seven years and older. Its meaningful story, accompanied by Taeeun Yoo’s compelling illustrations, will warm your heart and spark a conversation about our responsibility as humans to the earth and its creatures.
Thailand for Kids
The books above introduce kids to Thai culture, wildlife, and folktales. Filled with whimsical illustrations, they’ll visually captivate your little ones while the poetic stories will make teaching kids about Thailand a compelling journey you’ll love, too.
Interested in learning more about Thailand for kids? Or, looking for Thailand travel options your whole family can get behind? At Our Whole Village, we create tours carefully designed for families who want to create lasting memories while making a difference.
We’re here to help you and your family experience the world, its peoples, and cultures. Contact us today to learn more about the unforgettable experiences that we handcraft for families just like yours.