So, I am the kind of mom that likes to keep her kids in check as far as reminding them about how lucky they are. Let’s face it, most American kids are spoiled, but not in an ugly way. They are just lucky.
My kids live in a house, with air conditioning, have three square meals a day, plus snacks and have shoes. I always try to emphasize that they are doing better than half the world, so when I saw the book, Where Children Sleep, I had to buy it for them.
Trying to explain that they are fortunate to live in America, with a father who is a scientist that provides well enough to give them dance, music, and theater lessons gives them a huge advantage in life compared to someone who may live in a country where these advantages may not come so easily, becomes convoluted in their heads.
Where Children Sleep has actual photos of where child featured in the book sleeps and a small biography of each child including who they are and where they are in life. This has been helpful in my girls’ understanding how different the world is for everyone and even though it seems like the author/photographer had limited access to parts of the world, he succeeded in making his point. Some children have to grow up very quickly.
All the photos that he included are beautiful. The seven year old girl from Nepal with the amazing cheekbones, dust smudged face, and ax over her shoulder on her way to work, haunts me a year after I have read this book. My children wonder and marvel each time we open this book.
The only thing I do not like about this book is that I feel that some stereotypes may be reinforced with it. Not all American girls are pageant queens nor do all Japanese girls have one thousand dolls nor do all African boys sleep outside, however these people do exist and overall; I am glad that they were included in the book.
Here is an blurb from the New York Times about his book, published in 2010.
Go HERE to get the book on Amazon. Or, better yet, shop local and head to Brazos Bookstore. If you mention you saw this review on BigKidSmallCity, you will get a discount... and get to read the book immediately!
Even if you do not purchase this book, it is an interesting web read.