An attempt to inculcate international understanding right at the start is probably as impractical as it is idealistic since it is doubtful whether the four year old (at best five) is able to individuate countries. Consequently the visually exciting two page spreads which will tell you that the Italians gave us the piano and ice cream, the Chinese gave us paper and fireworks, the Indians gave us corn and moccasins, the Greeks gave us schools and the Olympic games (how sophisticated in your young sport), etc. are probably meaningless to the child who doesn't even have a name for the native tongue he is trying to master. But if the facts are exotic, so are the pictures and the color work, and the illustrations have an imaginative humor which may attract an adult rather then a junior audience. Unfortunately, picture books are too basic for the eight year old who is then ready for the content.