School Days Around the World (Around the World)

by Margriet Ruurs (Author) Alice Feagan (Illustrator)

School Days Around the World (Around the World)
Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade
Author Margriet Ruurs begins this engaging informational picture book by posing an intriguing question: What is a school? Is it a building with classrooms? Or can it be any place where children learn The fascinating stories that follow will expand how young readers think of school, as they learn about the experiences of real children in thirteen different countries around the world. From Marta in Azezo, Ethiopia, and Luciano in Mérida, Venezuela, to Alina in Taraz, Kazakhstan, and Lu in Shanghai, China, the children who are profiled live in places that truly span the globe. However, while there are huge differences in their environments, all the children share similar desires to learn, read and play with others. Alice Feagan's charming cut-paper collage artwork further enhances the idea of a global community by featuring smiling, enthusiastic children's faces, which are equally joyous and filled with life in every situation.

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Publishers Weekly

In this companion to Children Around the World and Families Around the World, Ruurs introduces 14 children from various countries, based on real individuals, who describe what school is like for them. Feagan's crisp, digitally assembled cut-paper collages give the children cheerful, puppetlike appearances and provide a sense of school environments that range from a fancy German boarding school to the house where two homeschooled Alaskan girls study. Mathii, who lives at an orphanage in Kenya, describes his morning routine ("The sun is barely up when I hurry to school to sweep the floors"), while in Shanghai, a boy named Lu explains that "classical music plays over the intercom" at his public school between classes. A lighthearted overview of school-day life that will leave readers considering how their routines compare to those of their global peers. Ages 3-7. (Apr.)

Copyright 2015 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

School Library Journal

K-Gr 2--This upbeat picture book explores a typical day for children attending 13 schools around the world, from Amy and Gwen, who are homeschooled in Alaska, to Mathii, an orphan from Kenya. For each country, there's a colorful spread featuring a few first-person details ("I am out of breath by the time I reach my classroom on the third floor of my school. Lots of stairs!") that demonstrate that ultimately these kids have more in common than it might seem. While readers will enjoy learning about the different cultures, the lack of depth here may spark more questions. Educators looking to provide more context will find some help in a section toward the end of the book, "A Closer Look at Schools Around the World," which offers tips on how to engage kids with the text and presents additional information about the different schools. There is also a list of charities that donate books and other supplies to schools in need. The cut-paper illustrations are bright and friendly looking, matching the cheerful feel of the text. VERDICT This title is a gentle introduction to the concept that when it comes to global experiences, similarities outweigh differences, though some adult guidance is required.--Laura Stanfield, Campbell County Public Library, Ft. Thomas, KY

Copyright 2015 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

... a highly copacetic introduction to various types of schools around the world.—Booklist
Margriet Ruurs
Margriet Ruurs is an avid traveler and has shared her 35 books with children all over the world. She lives in Salt Spring Island, British Columbia.

Pedro Covo is a painter and illustrator whose work has been featured in several magazines and other publications. The Elephant Keeper is his first book. He lives in Cartagena, Colombia.

Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Publication date
April 20, 2015
Around the World

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