978-1-55074-779-9 / 1550747797

If the World Were a Village: A Book about the World’s People (CitizenKid)

by Smith, David J

Publisher:Kids Can Press



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About the book:

Six billion people is a big number for a 6-year-old to grasp. So educational consultant David J. Smith has come up with an intriguing concept to help children better understand the significance of global population growth. In his picture book If the World Were a Village, Smith invites young readers to imagine the world as a village of just 100 people (each of whom represents 62 million people in the real world.)

Here the numbers start to tell their story. If the world is a village, how many of its 100 villagers get enough to eat? How many children can afford to go to school? Smith brings global statistics down to size, enabling children to visualize the differences between the world's haves and have-nots. Of his 100 villagers, for example, only 24 regularly have enough to eat. Only 31 of the 38 school-aged children go to school, and those who don't are mostly girls. Moreover, while 76 villagers have electricity, there are just 24 TV sets and no more than seven computers in the village.

Smith, who lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and leads educational workshops throughout the world, calls his first children's book an introduction to "world-mindedness," which he describes as "the sense that our planet is actually a village, and we share this small, precious village with our neighbors." Unfortunately, Shelagh Armstrong's faceless illustrations work at cross-purposes with Smith's message that the numbers are about real people. Even so, If the World Were a Village makes a fascinating learning tool. (Ages 6 to 10) --Lisa Alward

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