Meet Your Neighbors Storybox: South America and the Caribbean

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.



  • Seven Pablos by Jorge Lujan
  • Planting stories: the life of librarian and storyteller Pura Belpre by Anika Aldamuy Denise
  • Living in Brazil by Chole Perkins
  • Islandborn by Junot Diaz
  • How many days to America: a Thanksgiving story by Eve Bunting
  • Biblioburro: a true story from Colombia by Jeanette Winter
  • Soccer star by Mina Javaherbin
  • Where are you from? by Jaime Kim
  • Celia Cruz, Queen of Salsa by Veronica Chambers
  • The journey by Francesca Sanna
  • Barefoot Books: Children of the world
  • Lucia's travel bus by Nam-joong Kim
  • Festival of the Sun: Peru by Jong-soon Jo
  • Ada's violin: the story of the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay by Susan Hood
  • Calling the water drum by LaTisha Redding
  • Putumayo Presents Caribbean Playground
  • Activity & Resource packet


  • Paraguay
  • Columbia
  • Haiti
  • Cuba
  • Dominican Republic
  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • Puerto Rico
  • Argentina
  • Peru