School Days Around the World

illus. by Alice Feagan. 40p. glossary. Kids Can. Apr. 2015. Tr $18.95. ISBN 9781771380478.
K-Gr 2—This upbeat picture book explores a typical day for children attending 13 schools around the world, from Amy and Gwen, who are homeschooled in Alaska, to Mathii, an orphan from Kenya. For each country, there's a colorful spread featuring a few first-person details ("I am out of breath by the time I reach my classroom on the third floor of my school. Lots of stairs!") that demonstrate that ultimately these kids have more in common than it might seem. While readers will enjoy learning about the different cultures, the lack of depth here may spark more questions. Educators looking to provide more context will find some help in a section toward the end of the book, "A Closer Look at Schools Around the World," which offers tips on how to engage kids with the text and presents additional information about the different schools. There is also a list of charities that donate books and other supplies to schools in need. The cut-paper illustrations are bright and friendly looking, matching the cheerful feel of the text.
VERDICT This title is a gentle introduction to the concept that when it comes to global experiences, similarities outweigh differences, though some adult guidance is required.

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