Ajmera’s To Be a Kid (with co-author and photographer John D. Ivanko, 1999) focused on kids the world over engaged in play; in a similar format, this latest examines what children need in order to stay healthy.
Eye-catching photos are the centerpiece of this book. Each spread lists one thing that healthy kids need—“Healthy kids need clean water to drink”—while the labeled photographs show several children from different countries and how that need is met for them: A child drinks from a water fountain in Japan, and another uses a pump well in India; in Ghana, a girl pours water from a bucket carried atop her head. Healthy kids also need good food, clean bodies and teeth, a place to use the bathroom, a home, medical care and vaccinations, exercise, protection from the elements, safety gear such as seat belts and helmets, and most of all, loving families and communities. A multicolored world map highlights the countries mentioned, and backmatter explains how, in some areas of the world, those needs are difficult to meet and what kids, no matter where they live, can do to make sure they stay healthy. When this is paired with the likes of David J. Smith’s This Child, Every Child (illustrated by Shelagh Armstrong, 2011), readers will learn not only what kids need, but just how many kids lack these basic necessities.
An attractive introduction to the topic. (Informational picture book. 4-7)