In the second book from the Kids Around the Globe series, meet 6-year-old Cian from Quezon City in the province of Manila in the Philippines.
Dudas writes from a first-person point of view as Cian (Kee’-yan) shows readers his home and school and shares details of his daily life. This photo essay captures his family, Filipino foods, his classmates, places his family visits (the beach, a fair, a museum), and activities he enjoys. Cian describes the people, things, and activities in the photos while also integrating questions for readers to answer (“Did you notice all the students are boys?”). Elementary Tagalog (“kumusta/hello”; “uncle/tito”; “kaibigan/friend”) is woven into the narrative, with the English translation and, sometimes, phonetic pronunciation in parentheses. A glossary, multiple maps, follow-up activities, and a link to the series’ website are included at the end of the book. While the text is descriptive, it often fails to explain the cultural importance of what is in the photos—what, for instance, is the import of a painting of a maritime battle between a Dutch ship and a Spanish one? The pictures, credited to SCOLA, Inc. a nonprofit organization, are of generally low quality. Overall, the design and layout of photos and text have the feel of a homemade online photo book.
The book does share Filipino culture and gives a snapshot of Cian from the Philippines, but the photos and production quality fall short. (Informational picture book. 5-9)