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Myra here.

We are delighted to join the Nonfiction Picture Book meme 2016 hosted by Alyson Beecher @ Kid Lit Frenzy. We would also be linking our nonfiction choices with our reading themes throughout the year.


I chanced upon this book in our library and noted that it is a part of the CitizenKid Series. I checked out a few of their other titles on Goodreads and saw a number of familiar ones – and I realized with delight how practically all of the books in this series are a perfect fit for our current reading theme.


This Child, Every Child: A Book About the World’s Children

Text by: David J. Smith Illustrations by: Shelagh Armstrong
Published by: Citizen Kid, Kids Can Press, 2011 ISBN: 1554534666 (ISBN13: 9781554534661)
Borrowed a copy from the Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.

I read If the World Were A Village: A Book About the World’s People a few months back. I found it fascinating how the entire world has been scaled down in such a manageable manner that allows young readers, who have very limited capacity for abstraction, to imagine a world within the reach of their imagination. In this book, the same author and illustrator tandem made use of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child as their foundation in building up a nonfiction narrative about the world’s children.


Chock-filled with current statistics, some more harrowing than others, a young reader would be enlightened about how children’s families vary from one country to the next – I see a lot of links with Social Studies lessons on world population, cultural practices, and households around the world – as among the many themes that can be explored using this book.


Smith and Armstrong also touched on schooling, health, home, and migration – some of the most fundamental rights of every child. While they do show the stark (almost unjust) differences across cultures, the truth is softened a little bit with Smith including information about the various organizations or nongovernmental groups that serve these children, or how their circumstances are still considerably better off compared with other kids (insert relevant statistics here) who have zero security, shelter, food.


While I find this to be text-heavy, I still commend the book creators for being able to distill something so massive in such a readable, engaging way. For teachers who wish to make use of this book, check out this downloadable PDF resource created by the publisher that includes themed discussion questions and activities that can be done in the classroom.

Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

4 comments on “[Nonfiction Wednesday] Children around the World

  1. Looks like a great book. I love that illustration with the mirror.


  2. Wow, so much packed into one book! This looks like a good global book to have, even if you don’t read every page!


  3. I love If The World Were A Village, and think I’d love this one, too. Thanks!


  4. Sounds like a powerful book!


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