________________ CM . . . . Volume XXI Number 38 . . . . June 5, 2015


School Days Around the World. (Around the World).

Margriet Ruurs. Illustrated by Alice Feagan.
Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press, 2015.
40 pp., hardcover, $19.95.
ISBN 978-1-77138-047-8.

Subject Headings:
School day-Juvenile literature.
Schools-Juvenile literature.

Preschool-grade 2 / Ages 4-7.

Review by Gail Hamilton.

*** /4



Just as I slide off our family's scooter, I hear the pounding of the wooden slit drum. Thang-THONG-thang! School is starting! We stream into school like a river.

I am glad that the ceiling fans are on. It gets hot on our tropical island. Our teacher always wears flowers in her hair.

Kia orana! Welcome!" she says. "Let us practice the Ura language."

The drum sounds for lunch break. We race to the whale-watching fort by the sea and pretend to be fierce warriors.

After lunch we dance
hupa. Swaying hips and swinging arms, the whole school does our traditional island dance.

Based on the lives of 14 students from various parts of the world, this charming book showcases the similarities and differences of the schools they attend and the activities in which they participate. Most of the continents are represented, with schools from the U.S.A., Honduras, Cook Islands, Venezuela, Kenya, Ethiopia, Singapore, China, Turkey, Kazakhstan, Germany, Denmark and Canada included in the mix. Readers will see that the schools vary in size and structure, have small or large classes, keep different hours and teach different subjects. At some schools, kids wear uniforms. In addition to providing information on the schools, themselves, the book also discusses the foods the kids eat at lunch time, the students' projects, extra-curricular activities and sports, and the modes of transportation that the children take in order to get to school each day. One student attends a boarding school, two siblings are homeschooled, and one child lives in an orphanage. What all of the schools have in common is that the children who attend them are having fun learning and playing.

      At the back of the book are descriptions of activities for youngsters to try with the help of an adult. Examples include interviewing older family members to find out what kind of school they attended when they were young, using a map or a globe to locate the countries mentioned in the book, and talking about a typical school day and comparing it to that of one of the students mentioned in the book. There is also a short list of websites of organizations that help children attend school or that build schools and libraries. Readers are encouraged to get involved by holding yard sales of outgrown toys and books, raising money to purchase a school uniform for a needy student in another part of the world, or adopting a student, school or library.

      School Days Around the World is obviously meant for an adult to use with a child in order for the child to gain the most from it. The lively and colourful cartoon-like illustrations will be highly appealing to youngsters. A table of contents and a glossary are provided.


Gail Hamilton is a former teacher-librarian in Winnipeg, MB.

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

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.

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