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by Donata Montanari & illustrated by Donata Montanari

Age Range: 4 - 6

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 1-55337-064-3
Publisher: Kids Can

Montanari (Look Inside a Computer, not reviewed, etc.) takes readers on a bland but not entirely superficial world tour, inventing more than a dozen children in as many countries who step forward to introduce themselves: “Hi! I’m Malaika from Tanzania. I live in Tanzania, in East Africa. It is always hot here in my village. I speak Swahili at home. I like to wear colorful clothes . . .” No individual character comes through, either in the text or in the sunny paper collage portraits, but several speakers comment on the mix of modern and traditional culture in their worlds. “My mother wears pants and sweaters,” observes Sadako from Japan, “but my grandmother wears kimonos,” and Adam from Canada speaks Inuktitut at home, while at school, “my class is making a Web site.” Clean, smiling, well dressed, and evidently leading settled, secure lives, these children aren’t telling the whole story by any means. Still, readers not yet able to cope with the level of information in DK’s Children Just Like Me (1995) will absorb at least the idea that young people in distant lands live lives that are different in some ways, similar in others. (Picture book. 4-6)