Meet Your Neighbors Storybox: Middle East and South Asia

Meet your neighbors story box

Inspiration.  As our neighborhoods grow more diverse, our community is enriched by new voices, different experiences, and unique perspectives.

Recognizing this, WDMCS Community Education partnered with West Des Moines Public Library to create the Meet Your Neighbors Story Boxes. Each Story Box focuses on a different cultural group found in our WDMCS neighborhoods. We believe that shared stories, food, crafts, music, and activities can foster understanding across differences and help us be good neighbors to all who make the West Des Moines area their home.

What You’ll Find Inside

Inside each Story Box, you’ll find both fiction and nonfiction books, music, and a reading and listening guide you can use at home or in your classroom. You can also explore expansion activities and resources online.

While not every country, culture, or experience is represented in this Story Box, we hope the included books will serve as an entry point for learning. If you have suggestions about how we might better represent the experiences of our neighbors in different regions around the world, please visit the website listed above and fill out our feedback form.

We hope these Story Boxes will be useful tools to engage young children with materials that reflect their experience, as well as invite the whole community to learn from our neighbors both near and far.

Story Boxes are available for checkout at the West Des Moines Public Library.

Created in partnership by WDMCS Community Education and the West Des Moines Public Library.



  • Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns by Hena Khan
  • Living in India by Chole Perkins
  • Who Lives Here (Arabic/English edition) by Kathleen Rizzi
  • Iqbal and His Ingenious Idea by Elizabeth Suneby
  • The Boy who Grew a Forest by Sophia Gholz
  • My Grandma and Me by Mina Javaherbin
  • Silent Music: a Story of Baghdad by James Rumford
  • When the Rain Comes by Alma Fullerton
  • The Three Lucys by Hayan Charara
  • The Many Colors of Harpreet Singh by Supriya Kelkar
  • Malala a Brave Girl from Pakistan/Iqbal a Brave Boy from Pakistan by Jeanette Winter
  • Same, Same but Different by Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw
  • Nasreen's Secret School by Jeanette Winter
  • Speak up Tommy! by Jacqueline Dembar Greene
  • Bilal Cooks Daal by Aisha Saeed
  • What's on Your plate? Exploring the World of Food by Whitney Stewart
  • Putumayo Presents World Playground (music CD)
  • Materials packet


  • India
  • Bangladesh
  • Pakistan
  • Iran
  • Afghanistan
  • Iraq
  • Sri Lanka
  • Lebanon