Format Read: eGalley
Source: The publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: February 1, 2011
Buying Links: Amazon* | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository*
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Blurb from goodreads:
There are currently more than six billion people on the planet! This enormous number can be difficult to grasp, especially for a child. But what if we imagine the whole world as a village of just 100 people? In a time when parents and educators are looking to help children gain a better understanding of the world's peoples and their ways of life, If the World Were a Village offers a unique and objective resource. By exploring the lives of the 100 villagers, children will discover that life in other nations is often very different from their own. The shrunk-down statistics some surprising, some shocking and David Smith's tips on building "world-mindedness" will encourage readers to embrace the bigger picture and help them to establish their own place in the global village. If the World Were a Village is part of CitizenKid: A collection of books that inform children about the world and inspire them to be better global citizens.
"If The World Were A Village" is a book that I will definitely recommend that my school purchase. Gorgeous illustrations; simple, easy to understand text that is not patronizing; and valuable information that is clearly presented make this a good introduction to world geography and economics for young readers. I do wonder how current the information is though I did read the second edition. But, if the child or children reading it are curious, they can research the information for themselves. At the end of the book is a list of resources as well as questions and suggestions for further research.
This is not a story book nor should it be read as such. Each page of text presents a lot of information and time should be taken for children to absorb it and to ask questions. The illustrations are bright, colorful and done in a folk art style. There's information to be gleaned from them also or they can simply be enjoyed as is.
With so much information presented, it's up to the parent, caregiver or teacher to help break it down into even smaller chunks. Some of the information you may have seen around in various news articles but it's been rounded up into one location and presented in a way that's understandable for children approximately five years old and up. One thing I really appreciated is how Smith kept emotion and judgement out of the book; he provides the information and puts it in context but leaves it up to the reader to form their own opinions. If you have a young child that you want to help become informed about the world, or to broaden their knowledge and acceptance of diversity, this book should be on your shelf.