Total Pageviews

Saturday, April 18, 2015

School Days Around the World, written by Margriet Ruurs and illustrated by Alice Feagan. Kids Can Press, 2015. $19.95 ages 5 and up

"Marta goes to school in Azezo, Ethiopia. I walk along the dusty road to school with my goddegna Ayana. It is early morning, but already the sun is hot on our backs. I am blind so I hold my friend's hand tightly as she helps me around potholes and cow patties. There are 70 students in our class and 500 in our school. But many more students use the same school."

In this companion to a welcome group of books about children and their families around the world, Margriet Ruurs once again introduces us to individual children from all corners of the globe. For each of them, school can be a very different thing. It is a warm and inviting look, accompanied by detailed collage artwork created by Alice Feagan.

"You will meet some children who
live at school and others who have
to walk a long way to get there.
You will see schools with libraries and
computers but also schools with hardly any books at all."

Following her introduction, a map plots the countries that will be visited, and the children who live there. Fourteen countries are visited and the children's stories are based on real children and their school experiences. Each describes in first person voice what is unique about their own schooling.

The carefully created artwork is sure to hold the interest of those sharing the book, and adds context for the stories being told. White space assures that our attention is on the children as they enjoy the many events of their days. You will be surprised at the differences from one school to the next, while also finding that much is the same the world over. Environments surely differ.

It is perfect for provoking questions and careful thought about school life elsewhere, and comparing it to what we know. It is meant to be a starting point, and is sure to encourage some children to continue their exploration of education around the world.

Back matter includes further information about schools and suggests ways of expanding our learning about them. It also has suggestions for making a difference for those not as fortunate as we are, and provides a glossary of unfamiliar words.

No comments:

Post a Comment