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Children Just Like Me: A New celebration of children around the world. Review by Jennifer Do Nascimento

Catherine Saunders, Sam Priddy, and Katy Lennon
345 Hudson St., 4th Floor
New York, NY 10014

Raising culturally minded children is something that has always been in the back of my mind when homeschooling. In the United States, there are so many different cultures, ethnicities, traditions, and so on. One of my goals with my own children has always been to make sure they know that the world is bigger than them and their own city. As part of our geography curriculum this year, we have been using Children Just Like Me ($19.99).

Children Just Like Me is a large book that explores the lives of children all over the world. Forty-four children from six different continents are featured. Most of the children have an entire page to themselves, but a few have a full two-page spread about their lives. Six children live in North America, three live in South America, Eleven live in Europe, seven live in Africa, ten live in Asia, and six live in South Asia and Australia.

Overall, it’s a neat book that shows children about the lives of other children all over the world. Some of them live very similar lives, while others like eight year old Joshua from the Kalari Desert live a very different life. He and his family live in a house made of cow dung and corrugated iron, with no electricity. They are saving up to buy bricks and cement to build a new house.

Each child in the book has their own little snapshot of their lives: their families and pets, their schools and hobbies, local customs, favorite foods, as well as their aspirations for the future. Each spread includes a map locator as well as a panel showing how each child says hello and writes his/her name.

My five year old, Max, especially liked Yaroslav from Russia. Yaroslav likes to build with Legos and make robots - two of Max’s favorite things.

As we read through the book, I did find a few things that I wasn’t exactly thrilled about. One of the children’s pages highlighted a sister’s lesbian marriage. What is the point of that? Charles Darwin, Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead), and Halloween are also talked about. Few of the children’s pages identified a religion for the family. Of the ones that claimed a religion, one was Christian, three were Catholic, and four were Muslim. There seems to be a bit of imbalance there.

As a Christian parent, there are some things I’m just not ready to explain to my small children yet. Unfortunately, this book contains several of them. Thankfully my young ones are still non-readers so I can censor what they hear when I read, but that will not always be the case.

While Children Just Like Me is a great concept, it will not find itself among our favorite books. However, if you are a family that is much more open to those concepts, or perhaps they don’t bother you, then I say “go for it!” There is a lot of fun information and pictures to be explored within the pages.

-Product review by Jeniffer Do Nascimento, The Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, January, 2017