“'There's cold chicken inside it,' replied the Rat briefly; 'coldtonguecoldhamcoldbeefpickledgherkinssaladfrench

'O stop, stop,' cried the Mole in ecstacies: 'This is too much!'”
-- from
The Wind in the Willows

Friday, June 7, 2013

If The World Were A Village: A Book About the World's People ▪ Non-fiction picture book

by David J. Smith    illustrated by Shelagh Armstrong
Available now   Citizen Kid /  Kids Can Press    Ages 8-12
The best-selling book which has sold over 400,000 copies in 17 languages – updated with new content and insights about the world's people. A Common Core Curriculum ELA Exemplar Title

“This book is about ‘world-mindedness,’ which is an attitude, an approach to life,” writes Smith. “It is the sense that our planet is actually a village, and we share this small, precious village with our neighbors. Knowing who our neighbors are, where they live, and how they live, will help us live in peace.”  -- author David J. Smith

Story: First published to wide acclaim in 2002, this eye-opening book has since become a classic, promoting "world-mindedness" by imagining the world's population – all 6.8 billion of us – as a village of just 100 people.  Now, If the World Were a Village has been newly revised with updated statistics, several new activities and completely new material on food security, energy and health. By exploring the lives of the 100 villagers, children will discover that life in other nations is often very different from their own.  If the World Were a Village is part of CitizenKid: A collection of books that inform children about the world and inspire them to be better global citizens.

David J. Smith, a teacher with more than 25 years of experience in the classroom, is the creator of the award-winning curriculum “Mapping the World by Heart” and the author of two other Kids Can Press books —
If America Were a Village: A Book about the People of the United States and This Child, Every Child: A Book about the World’s Children. He is now a full-time educational consultant. 

Shelagh Armstrong has been illustrating since 1987. Her work can be found on product packaging around the world, on coins and stamps in Canada and in many books and magazines. She has also illustrated If America Were a Village and This Child, Every Child. 

Story behind the story:  "I taught Grade 7 and the book originated with one of my students," says author David J. Smith.  The student needed to decide which language to take and asked his teacher which one was most important.  The student asked "Suppose our classroom represented the world, how many of us would speak English, how many French, how many Spanish..."  This one question provided the idea for the book.  "If the world were a village, what could we learn?"  You can hear David telling his story via this Meet-the-Author Book Reading at TeachingBooks.net.

"This highly informative book will get kids thinking and asking questions." -- Booklist

"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." -- School Library Journal

"Thought-provoking and highly effective, this world-in-miniature will open eyes to a wider view of our planet and its human inhabitants." -- Horn Book

★ "An eye-opener and a source of action." -- Library Talk, starred review

Association of Booksellers for Children Choices 
International Reading Association Children's Book Award
Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People
Parents' Guide Choice

IF THE WORLD WERE A VILLAGE is a perfect choice when discussing global community and awareness, multiculturalism, and human geography.  You can "Make it Real," "Become World-Minded," and "Make a Math Connection" with this downloadable activity kit.

IF THE WORLD WERE A VILLAGE has been embraced by classroom teachers of all grades, elementary through college level.  If you've shared the book with your students, colleagues, we'd love to hear your thoughts and HOW you used it in the classroom.  Please share your experience with it in the COMMENTS field. 



Pat Hensley said...

This wonderful picture book was written for upper elementary level students but I think it would be great for middle school too. For some discussions, I could see it even being used in a high school class for visual demonstrations. I love how the book breaks down numerical information into usable, understandable information that any person can put into perspective. I think that is why pictographs are so well liked because it is a visual representation of hard to process information. This book puts world figures into a manageable amount so we can understand the different concepts. By doing this, the uses in the classroom are endless! This book can be used for discussion of the different statistics given. It can be used in a math, social studies, or science class. I can even see creative writing being done using these facts. This book should be in every school library! I would definitely give this book a 5 out of 5!

Pat Hensley
Greenville, SC

Becca said...

Wow!!!! As a Grade 2 teacher, I found myself wondering what I might do with this book. I think the possibilities are limitless. Even though children at this age are somewhat centered on themselves, they are just starting to reach out and recognize the world around them. This is a great book for helping them begin to understand the world that they are a part of. It makes a great read aloud and discuss book, but also lends itself, in places, to some close reading opportunities. I am looking forward to using this book in my classroom. Thank you for sharing!!

Linda said...

This book is a keeper. It is eloquently written and the uses are unending. As a 4th grade teacher, I will be referring to it often--if I get a chance. I am sure it will be a must with the students and my colleagues.

NMills said...

Loved this book! It makes the world's numbers understandable for children and adults.

5 out of 5

Laura Miller said...

As an ESL instructor, I can confidently say that this book is a gem. I teach all levels of students, from elementary to high school, and the book,"If the World Were a Village" fits all the various age categories. One of my favorite things about this book is that it puts the world's numbers into a perspective that can be understood by all levels.
I teach individuals from many countries, and I am excited to use this book in my classroom. I think the illustrations will help my students understand how vast and yet connected we all are in the world.
I am excited to explore all the ways this book can be used in my classes. It is definitely a 5 out of 5!!!!

Anonymous said...

I read this book to my sixth grade EL students. They loved it. They compared the different categories to what we have been learning in social studies and current events. The book gave my students a way to visualize the the large numbers that we discuss in class.