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BE MY NEIGHBOR by Maya Ajmera


by Maya Ajmera & photographed by various

Age Range: 3 - 7

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2004
ISBN: 1-57091-504-0
Publisher: Charlesbridge

A visually enticing tribute to diversity and the number of bonds that unite us in a common humanity. This works like a primer in cultural geography, introducing young readers to locales as disparate as Togo and Brunei. Ajmera and Ivanko have gathered crisp, evocative photographs, with up to a dozen scattered across the two-page spreads, illustrating architecture and food, rituals and ceremonies, play and work. A note of the locale accompanies each of the photographs and a handy, colorfully appealing map helps readers situate where on the globe these shots were taken. The text—though well-intended and emphasizing both the cradling pleasures and the distinctiveness of each community—couldn’t be flatter if it were Kansas: “Schools are important because they help you learn and become more helpful to your community.” But what this lacks in bounce, it makes up for in an unequivocal broadside against xenophobia. (Picture book. 3-7)