A thoroughly contemporary look at the world’s children.
Children from 73 countries, some rarely represented in children’s books, including Malawi, Kosovo, Barbados, and Papua New Guinea, talk about their lives. Each double-page spread is devoted to one child and is jammed with photos of different sizes, a small flag, and a globe pointing out the country where they live. There is an emphasis on different types of families: Yared’s single-mom family in Ethiopia, Jack’s single-dad family in Fiji, Jenisha’s extended-family unit in Nepal, and many blended families with stepparents and half siblings. Diversity exists within families with parents from different cultures. In New Zealand, Anneke’s parents are Samoan/Tokolauan and British/Japanese. Same-sex parents are not in evidence, however. More parents than usual work in tourism, as guidebook publisher Lonely Planet used its contacts to recruit participating families, but there are urban and rural families, and at least one lives in a refugee camp. The children describe the commonalities of their lives: food, school, games, families. Technology shows up everywhere. Lluvia, age 12, from Costa Rica says: “My friends are silly and fun. We love to hang out, play on our cell phones, and take silly selfies.” Photos are appealing and layouts are varied, with short paragraphs and funny headlines. Entries are arranged alphabetically by children’s names, with a world-map key in the front.
A necessary purchase for those interested in educating global citizens. (quiz, index) (Nonfiction. 8-12)