If the World Were a Village: Imagine 100 people live in the village. This is a book about `world-mindedness`. Author David J. Smith presents the world as one small village – a village of just 100 people. Each person in the village represents a proportion of the world`s population. Presented in this way, statistics are more manageable and accessible, bringing world issues into an arena where they can be fully understood.
For example, we discover that 60 people who live in the global village go to bed every night feeling hungry, because they simply haven`t enough to eat. The 20 richest people in the village have more than $9000 a year, but by comparison, the poorest 20 people each have less than $1 a day. 19 villagers are Muslims, and 1 is Jewish. 15 are non-religious.
As a children`s book, `If the World Were a Village` makes a lasting impression, with its lush artwork by Shelagh Armstrong and its truly amazing statistics; it is an excellent tool with which to capture children`s interest, and encourage them to think about their world and how they can protect it.
As a teacher`s resource, the book offers readers a wealth of activity and discussion ideas about the global village. David Smith suggests a series of interesting approaches to taking a class, for example asking children such pertinent questions as:
If there`s really enough food in the world, why do some people still go hungry?
Why do so many people want to live somewhere else? Why are people migrating?
What do you think could be done to help the world`s population growth rate slow down?
Understanding geography, the Earth and the people who live here – where, why and how – is something we should all encourage. However, what is needed is not just the facts, but a way of looking at the world that tells the story truthfully, through open-mindedness. In `If the World were a Village`, children are encouraged to become truly passionate about the world, to explore their own curiosity and to develop a lasting interest in the environmental, cultural and even political issues of the world.
About the Author
David J. Smith is an author and educational consultant with 25 years experience.
Praise for `If the World Were a Village`:
LINDSEY FRASER, GUARDIAN: `This remarkable and beautiful book will surely convince anybody still resistant to the idea that picture books are of value to older pupils. By scaling down and alienating statistics, it brings world politics, economics and cultural diversity within the understanding of young people for whom a textbook could be too daunting. There is a clear moral imperative to the book – it has not been written simply to present numbers. We`re made fully aware of the world`s inequalities. For this age group, it provides a picture in words and artwork that will start them questioning the community into which they are emerging.`
TOM DEVESON, TIMES EDUCATIONAL SUPPLEMENT: `David Smith wrote this book in 1989 and waited thirteen years for a publisher. He was inspired by the passionate wish that the children should be equipped to solve world crises 30 years from now – that they should care about travel, landscape, exploration and reading. The book will certainly provoke their wonder, their thoughtful indignation and their sense of moral purpose. Smith. . .revisits old educational ideas. . .with a new infectious zeal.`
JUNIOR FOCUS: `. . .this is a highly original way of teaching children that they – along with the other children in the world – are the keys to their own future.`
TORONTO STAR: `It`s a rare occasion when I see a book and think `Every school teacher, every parent should have a copy of this book.` But such is my reaction to American David Smith`s `If the World Were a Village`. This book is timely, important and galvanising.`
PRIMARY TIMES: `A vivid, imaginative way of describing the world we live in. It makes very interesting reading throwing out quite a few surprises, such as the high percentage of people living in poor conditions. An eye opener for all ages.`
EDUCATION TODAY: `This is a thought-provoking and original way of teaching children about the world. . .through this publication, children are encouraged to ask open questions and talk about possible answers, learning that there is not necessarily a `right or wrong` answer but often an opportunity to discuss different ideas.`
Now available: a website of related teaching activities at www.acblack.com/globalvillage.