As I’m planning and promoting our Summer Reading Program activities, I’m also trying to read books on the theme “One World, Many Stories” both to use in the programs and to suggest to kids who want something to read on the topic. One of the weekly themes is on travel and exploration, and for that week I found an awesome collection of poems called A World of Wonders: Geographic Travels in Verse and Rhyme by J. Patrick Lewis and illustrated beautifully by Alison Jay that I hope to share with the kids.
One of my favorite, poems is about all the place names that have changed. Probably because it reminds me of the Might Be Giants song.
New Names, Old Places
Sri Lanka used to be Ceylon.
Ancient Persia? Now Iran.
Ziare was Congo way back when.
Now it’s Congo once again.
China? Can you guess? Cathay.
That’s what people used to say.
Thailand once was known as Siam.
Gold Coast turned to Ghana. I am
Always interested in telling
How a country changed its spelling
Dutch East Indies? Indonesia!
Once Zimbabwe was Rhodesia.
Burma changed to Myanmar.
Russia, once USSR…
And so it can be stuck in your head too, here it is: