Where We Live: Mapping Neighborhoods of Kids Around the Globe

Kids Can. Oct. 2022. 40p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781525301377.
Gr 2-5–From Tongareva, in the Cook Islands, to Salt Spring Island in Canada, from Cambridge, MA, in the United States to Nueva Esperanza in Honduras, and including Venezuela, Antarctica, Spain, the Netherlands, Romania, Egypt, Ethiopia, Zambia, Pakistan, India, China, and Cambodia, 16 maps of where children live demonstrate neighborhoods large and small. It’s a fascinating structure for exploring both the habitats of children and their experiences, showing a tan-skinned boy named Moana, for example, on the beach in Tongareva, and red-haired, light-skinned Jonathan in Cambridge, going to the urban library and synagogue. Leaf lives on a houseboat with her brother, River, in Amsterdam, where she goes to ballet and to the museum with her family. There are legends in each city map, and vocabulary bubbles. The book is not—cannot be—exhaustive, but it is a charming glimpse of children the world over and the differences and similarities that make up their days. The illustrations, with the look of loose chalk drawings or construction paper cut-outs, may inspire readers to craft their own maps; certainly the book will teach rudimentary cartography even as it enthralls. Back matter includes an excellent glossary, index, and author’s note that addresses the real children she met while writing the book.
VERDICT A pleasant book to browse through or for simple research, with a diverse cast and population numbers that will make world travelers even of the armchair variety.

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