Storytime with Melody – Countries

Hello, Bonjour, Ciao, Ola, Hej, Labdien, Demat!

Alright, that is the limit of my language skills, and yes, I stole them from one of the books we are reviewing in this week’s Storytime Blog all about countries.

Australia is a very multicultural country, but sometimes we tend to segregate ourselves away from those who are different from us for lots of different reasons like where we live, how we were raised or just general fear, anxiety and bias. Reading books to our children that show them a little diversity and acceptance is a great way to encourage children to be better than their parents and to be accepting of everyone no matter where they come from.

Reading to them about other countries and peoples also helps them to learn that the world is much bigger than they realise with so many interesting things to see and learn. And lastly, reading with your child every day, particularly non-fiction books, can increase your child’s vocabulary in preparation for school.


Book cover for I;m Australian Too

I’m Australian Too by Mem Fox celebrates Australia’s incredible multicultural heritage.

This beautiful story might be a bit of a tear-jerker for the more emotional mums and dads out there. Personally, I had trouble holding back my tears when reading this out loud at storytime. But, it is a really lovely story that reminds us as Australians that almost all of us, or our parents, grandparents and great grandparents, originally came from somewhere else.

The Hello Atlas by Ben Handicott is a non fiction book in which you can meet children from all over the world. 

Each page of the book shows children in different countries doing the same everyday activities that you or I might do from big cities to small remote villages. You can learn simple greetings in 100 different languages and there is also a free app to download and listen to how to say the phrases. 

There are also fascinating tit-bits about each continent to learn a little more, as well as maps and a list of phrases at the back for simple searching.

Book cover for The Hello Atlas
Book cover for Under my Hijab

Under my Hijab by Hena Khan is a beautiful rhyming story that shows how the women in a young girl’s family wear their hijabs and cover their hair in different ways and in different situations. She dreams of the possibilities in her own future and how she might express her personality through her hijab. 


Rhyme: If you're happy and you know it

CRAFT (but really Cooking!)

In following on from my last blog, where instead of including a craft to do with your little one, I included a simple recipe to make with your child and share with a friend, this week we are looking at an easy recipe from another country to make together. Your child will be able to do a lot of the mixing and measuring in this recipe, so it is a great way to get them into the kitchen and to encourage them to try different foods. 

Portuguese Coconut Custard Tarts


2 tbsp cornstarch or cornflour
1 cup milk
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
3 large eggs
1 cup of sugar
2 tbsp melted butter
1/4 tsp lemon extract (or lemon juice)


1. Preheat oven to 190C. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper or silicon cupcake liners.
2. Dissolve the cornflour in 1/4 cup milk.
3. In a large bowl, stir the eggs and sugar together with a wooden spoon. One by one, add the cornflour mixture, the remaining milk, the coconut, melted butter and lemon, stirring well after each addition.
4. Ladle the custard into the paper cups, filling each 1/2cm from the top. 
5. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the coconut is nicely toasted. Cool completely in the muffin tin before serving.

So that’s it from me for this week. Guten Tag, Sey yeso, Ngakarnangku myanyi, Magandang araw sa’yo and Bubu!