Teaching kids about the world around them is often challenging. Kids are familiar with their own every- day life but don’t always understand how people different from themselves live. The book If America were a Village helps to teach kids about the unique country they are a part of by looking at the people who reside here in a fun and age appropriate manner. Not just an educational tool, this book is entertaining too. It brings the reader out of their own life and into the metaphoric village. Kids will be fascinated by the information provided and want to know where they fit in to the country as a whole.
As a part of the Kids Can Press publishers CitizenKid collection the book’s format answers a series of questions about a village of 100 people. The 100 people represent the entire population of the United States of America. By statistically looking at the 100 people of the village the author answers questions about American as a whole. Some of the questions answered in the book are:”Where do we come from?”, “What religions do we practice?”, “How old are we?”, and “How wealthy are we?”
The thirty-two page non-fiction book is the second book with this type of format for author David J. Smith. The first book: If the World were a Village addresses similar questions as If America were a Village but for the world’s population. Recommended for children age 9-12 years old, adults will find the book’s information equally fascinating.
Picture books draw the reader into the story through pictures and this book is no different. The illustrations, created by Shelagh Armstrong, depict a friendly village reminiscent of a bygone era in American history. The topics though complex and often difficult to grasp for young readers are easily understood through the use of vibrant illustrations and statistical information.
If America were a Village is a fantastic tool for teachers. It is a great companion to lessons on American history, geography or social studies. Kids will enjoy the format of the book and teachers will be able to get larger concepts across in a more entertaining way.