Third in a series of informational picture books for preschoolers and early-elementary readers about children around the world (Families Around the World, 2014, etc.).
Children often wonder what it would be like to go to a different school. Each spread of this oversized picture book explores that question. Starting with Tamatoa, who attends a Cook Island school (where the children learn the Ura language and dance the hupa), the page turn finds Raphael in an international school in Singapore (where lo mein is just one of the canteen’s many lunch offerings). Further page turns bring readers to China, Kazakhstan, Ethiopia, Kenya (where Mathii lives in an orphanage), Turkey, Germany (a boarding school for Johannes), Denmark (part city school, part forest school), Venezuela, Honduras, the USA (home-schooled twin sisters) and finally, a First Nations school in Canada. There’s more than a bit of sameness to the flat, brightly colored, paper-doll–like illustrations, an irony given that the author has gone out of her way to present a welcome diversity of backgrounds. Each school looks well-funded, and there are no overcrowded or single-sex classrooms pictured. This volume could provide a starting place for classrooms that study children around the world, as the backmatter points children to organizations that raise funds for building schools and libraries internationally. These excellent resources give a more honest view of the state of international education than the book itself.
The picture-book equivalent of “It’s a Small World.” (Picture book. 3-8)