One of my favourite children’s books is If the World Were a Village, written by David J. Smith and illustrated by Shelagh Armstrong. I bought it in 2008 at a great little store on Denman Street in Vancouver, BC, 10,000 Villages.
The book –aside from being beautifully illustrated– puts our world into perspective for children and adults alike. How? By condensing the approximately 6.6 billion people currently occupying our planet into a village of 100 people. According to the author, the book is about “world-mindedness” –the attitude that “we share this small, precious village with our neighbours” and that “knowing who our neighbours are, where they live and how they live will help us live in peace.”
While the book provides interesting information on the nationalities, languages, ages and religions of the villagers and offers a guide for parents and teachers to encourage “world-mindedness” I love the book for different reasons.
This book has provided me with an appreciation for things I used to take for granted; necessities like food of which only 30 villagers always have enough. Or things I consider a necessity but really are a luxury, like my computer; only 15 villagers have one –even in this “technological age”.
According to the 2007 statistics used for If the World Were a Village, the richest ten villagers receive over half of the villages money and while the average cost of necessities in the village is about $5000 a year, 75 of these 100 villagers receive less than $1500 a year.
I value this book because it reminds me it’s important to stand up for –and speak out on—issues critical to a just society. It gives me permission to advocate for others even when (especially when) it’s not the “politically popular” thing to do and it encourages me to volunteer and get involved in my community. Because of these actions I now have the knowledge that I can make a positive difference –whatever size the village.
You can check out If the World Were a Village at Kids Can Press –Canada’s largest Canadian owned children’s publisher at http://www.kidscanpress.com.
Also check out our other favourite children’s books here >>> Books We Like