6 Global Picture Books about Outdoor Markets


Summer marks the start of farmer’s market season on the Seacoast. There’s nothing quite like supporting local farms and artisans at an outdoor market. Globally, outdoor markets play a crucial role in the life of their communities. The vibrant colors, sights, sounds and smells have inspired these six global picture books about markets.

Around the World in Ten Markets

global picture books about markets

My Granny Went to Market by Stella Blackstone is a rollicking counting trip around the world. Granny travels by flying carpet collecting treasures at markets from Mexico to Russia. Her shopping spree ends as she gifts her finds to her grandchild and hands over the flying carpet so the child can continue the adventure. Reading this global picture book about markets always makes me smile.

Buying and Selling at the Market

global picture books about markets

A Gift for Amma by Meera Sriram follows a young girl through an outdoor market in Southern India. She is on a quest to find just the right present for her mother (amma). All of the global picture books about markets on this list feature bright, colorful scenes , but this one in particular has gorgeous vibrant illustrations. Paired with colorful descriptions of saffron orange, lotus pink and more, this story captures the beauty of the Indian market.

global picture books about markets

Abuela’s Weave by Omar Castañeda gives readers a glimpse into both the rolling countryside and a bustling city in Guatemala. Esperanza learns traditional Mayan weaving from her Abuela and then travels to sell it at a market. Abuela fears that customers will avoid their stall because of her birthmark. This leaves Esperanaza in charge of peddling their tapestries. This compelling global picture book about markets goes a bit deeper than the others as it explores the beauty of handmade artisanship over mass marketed products.

global picture books about markets

Mama Panya’s Pancakes by Mary and Rich Chamberlin has been a favorite read in our house for years now. Adika and Mama Panya walk to the market from their Kenyan village to purchase the ingredients for some simple pancakes (recipe included). Along the way, they run into many friends. Adika invites them all to join them for a pancake feast. Mama gets increasingly concerned that there won’t be enough for everyone. Adika’s maintains an inherent trust that there will be enough. It all culminates in a heartwarming demonstration of community and sharing.

Goats on the Loose!

global picture books about markets

Janjak and Freda Go to the Iron Market is a bilingual book in English and Creole. Janjak and Freda visit a famous outdoor market in Haiti with their godmother. As they explore, they see new things, taste new foods and learn the importance of helping others when a goat escapes at the market.

global picture books about markets

Speaking of goats escaping at a market, that’s the major premise of Catch that Goat by Polly Alakija. Readers can join Ayoka as she runs all over this Nigerian market in search of her missing goat. Children will delight in figuring out before Ayoka and her neighbors do where all the other items that have gone missing from the market stalls have gone.

These global picture books about markets feature children from places quite different from our Seacoast homes. In this way can offer your family a glimpse into how, no matter where they are located, outdoor markets create a sense of community. 

For other global books to share with your children, check out other posts in our Global Kids Books series here and here.



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