Doors to the World

Doors to the World offers professional development experiences and accessible resources that PreK to grade 3 educators can use to promote global literacy through critical engagement with culture as represented in children's literature. Through imagination books can become doors that allow children to be part of the world created by the text’s words and images, expanding their view of the world and affirming, diversifying and recasting their social experiences within a global context.

Twelve teachers participated in the first Doors to the World Summer Institute July 13-16, 2015, at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, and created unit plans for 12 global children’s picture books representing diverse human experiences. In 2016-17, Doors to the World worked with Holyoke Public Schools and Springfield Public Schools teachers to bring books about Puerto Rican and other Latino cultures into their classrooms. 2017’s Doors to the World Summer Institute focused on books about and from East Asian cultures. For more information about Doors professional learning opportunities, go to the Doors website or contact

The Doors to the World website is live! The website features a list of carefully chosen published picture books coming from and/or relating to a wide range of countries and cultures, each book presented with curricular, visual and informational materials that richly contextualize the story and enable teachers to readily integrate lessons using the book into their classrooms. Search for books, learn about critical reading strategies, and explore resources. Check it out, use it, and send us your feedback.

Resource Spotlight

The Wakame Gatherers Read-Aloud with Author Holly Thompson

The Five College Center for East Asian Studies is pleased to present Holly Thompson reading her picture book The Wakame Gatherers (Shen’s/Lee&Low, October 2007; coming in paperback this Fall). In the book, a bicultural girl in Japan goes wakame seaweed gathering with her Japanese and American grandmothers. Nanami must serve as translator for the two women, whom she comes to understand were at war when they were her age. Included after the story are an author’s note about wakame, a glossary of Japanese words used, and recipes for wakame by Nanami and each of her grandmothers. 

From now until June 30, 2020, teachers and parents can share this book with children.

Go to

Teacher’s guide

A collaboration among the Five College Schools Partnership, The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, Hampshire College, the University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass Amherst) College of Education, the Five College Center for East Asian Studies, this project supports global understanding through literacy development, targeting Pre-K to Grade 3 children in U.S. classrooms. Doors to the World is supported by the Longview Foundation, the Irene E. and George A. Davis Foundation, the Freeman Foundation, and the Five College Consortium.

For more information, contact Marla Solomon.