Reviews for If the World Were a Village : A Book About the World's People


Booklist Monthly Selections - #1 March 2002
Gr. 3-5, younger for reading aloud. To make the idea of a world of 6.2 billion people more understandable, Smith suggests that children imagine the population of the world as a village of just 100 people. That's one person representing 62 million people in the real world. Surprising, even shocking statistics follow--for example, many kids in the U. S. take computers for granted, but only seven people in the global village own one. Each double-page, picture-book spread relates a few consciousness-raising facts about such topics as nationalities, food, language, and religion. With the aid of a calculator, even younger kids can do the math; the tricky part is to get children to really understand the ideas. Armstrong's large acrylic paintings, nice complements to the text, look like stained glass windows, with blocks of intense color outlined in thick black lines. This highly informative book will get kids thinking and asking questions, and it can easily be incorporated into a middle-school social studies curriculum. The endnote suggests related activities for home and classroom. ((Reviewed March 1, 2002)) Copyright 2002 Booklist Reviews

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2002 Fall
If you imagine ""the whole population of the world as a village of just 100 people,"" each person represents sixty-two million people from the real world. Using this device, Smith covers topics such as nationalities (only five people in the village are from the U.S.), languages (nine speak English), food (""only 24 people always have enough to eat""), and so on. Accurately detailed artwork illustrates the thought-provoking book. Copyright 2002 Horn Book Guide Reviews

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Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2002 #3
If you imagine "the whole population of the world as a village of just 100 people," each person represents sixty-two million people from the real world. Since this device neatly condenses all those incomprehen-sible numbers so that even younger kids can understand them, it makes perfect sense to present the technique in picture-book form. Double-page spreads cover topics such as nationalities (only five people in the village are from the United States), languages (nine speak English), ages, religions, food ("only 24 people always have enough to eat"), air and water (thirty-two breathe unhealthy air, twenty-five don't have safe water nearby), and schooling and literacy. Though understated, the artwork contains accurate details: simple figures outlined in black focus attention on the variety of skin tones and clothing styles in this global village; an illustration of the sleeping village seems cozy at first, but the text notes the distribution of electricity, and a closer look at the art reveals large, well-lit houses abutting dimly lit or completely darkened shacks. While sobering, the book ends on a hopeful note by mentioning that "many groups...are working hard to make sure that the village of the future is a good home for all the people who live in it." An author's note includes specific suggestions for teaching kids "world-mindedness," and source notes include explanations of how the calculations were done and how the author dealt with sources that provided differing statistics. Thought-provoking and highly effective, this world-in-miniature will open eyes to a wider view of our planet and its human inhabitants. Copyright 2002 Horn Book Magazine Reviews

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School Library Journal Reviews 2002 May
Gr 2-6-More than six billion people inhabit the Earth. With interesting results, Smith compresses this impressively large number down to a more understandable figure, 100 persons, and in 9 spreads offers data on such topics as nationalities, languages, ages, religions, and education as represented in a condensed global village. For instance, in this community, 22 inhabitants speak Chinese, 9 speak English, and 7, Spanish. Ten are under the age of 5 and only 1 is over 79. Other tidbits: 76 people have electricity, but most use it to light their houses at night only, and 24 do not have access to it. Although the book focuses on humans, some animal statistics are included. In the village, there are 189 chickens and 15 pigs. Armstrong's acrylic illustrations are colorful and, of course, multicultural. Human faces are stylized. But the statistics are the true audience draw here. Two appended spreads delve into the village in the past as well as future trends. Source notes are taken from material aimed at adults. These days, the world seems to be getting smaller. This timely, unique book enhances that sentiment. It is useful for a current understanding of the world's population.-Anne Chapman Callaghan, Racine Public Library, WI Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2004 October
The global village is represented by 100 lively folks who show readers similarities and differences among the planet's people. There are plenty of potential math lessons here as well. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

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