________________ CM . . . . Volume VIII Number 15 . . . . March 29, 2002

cover Children Around the World.

Donata Montanari.
Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press, 2001.
32 pp., cloth, $15.95.
ISBN 1-55337-064-3.

Subject Headings:
Children-Social life and customs-Juvenile literature.
Manners and customs-Juvenile literature.

Grades 2-4 / Ages 7-9.

Review by Ian Stewart.

**** /4


Hi! I'm Miguel from Mexico.

I live in Mexico City, and I speak Spanish.

It is mostly warm and sunny here.

I like to visit the market on Saturdays.

They sell ponchos and lots of hot chilis.

When I come home from school,

I eat my lunch.

My mother makes tortillas with cheese,

bean and a spicy sauce called salsa.

My father is a dentist.

He eats with us, too.

After lunch, he takes a siesta.

Last summer, we went to the ocean.

We saw tourists from all over the world.

I loved swimming with the fish.

Donata Montanari's exquisite book takes young readers on a wonderful journey around the world. They meet Miguel in Mexico City, Mexico; Adam in the cold territory of Nunavut, Canada; Maliaka in rural Tanzania, Africa; then they are off to visit Sadako in Osaka, Japan, with stops to meet new friends in eight other farms, towns, and cities around the global community of children. Along their journey, they will enjoy and experience the world's amazing diversity of culture and geography in a book that will enthral readers, young and old alike. Although Montanari's prose is simple enough for young readers to grasp, she has found a way to include an incredibly vast array of information in the remarkably few short sentences that make-up each small biography. As teachers and children read through the text, they will not only see the great differences in the lives of the world's children but will also realize that there are remarkable similarities in the fundamental aspects of life for these children.

inside art

     Her original artwork is enchanting. Although her collage pieces seem simple, they joyfully capture the essence of the cultural life, the physical world, and the child they are representing.

     The curricular opportunities in early years Social Studies for Children Around the World are virtually endless. Most importantly, however, Montanari has created a literary and visual experience that opens windows of insight for the lucky students having an opportunity to share the lives of the children she has created.

Highly Recommended.

Ian Stewart is an early years teacher with Winnipeg #1 School Division. He also reviews big fat books with small print and no pictures for other publications. How dumb is that?

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364