Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Picture Book: Dreams Around the World (by Takashi Owaki)
Photographer Takashi Owaki traveled around the world, visiting multiple countries on 6 different continents. To the children he met, he asked the question: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Owaki highlights 13 of the children he interviewed and photographed in Dreams Around the World.
For each child, his/her name, age, and native country are provided. Then, Owaki shares a little of what he learned about each one's life and dreams. Many of the children have very different lives from the typical American child. For instance, Udayakumar (age 6) works in his family’s restaurant while Armando (age 8) takes care of the llamas and donkeys in a traveling circus his family works in. Others have similar experiences to many American children, like Angelica (age 6) who plays hide and seek with her friends and Sara (age 7) who goes on bike rides with her family. American youngsters will definitely related to their occupational dreams, such as dancer, teacher, pilot, kung-fu master, police officer, ballerina, and princess. The photographs are striking. Each child has a full-page picture facing the information on him/her. Underneath the text, additional pictures of the child are shown that reflect cultural and personal attributes.
Dreams Around the World reveals that no matter where we live, children have similar interests and hobbies. Family and friends are important. Most importantly, children all have dreams for the future. I recommend this book for ages 3-8.
- Geography: identify the countries represented on a map; learn a few basic cultural and geographical elements about each one (or a couple favorites)
- Writing: instruct the child to write one or more sentences about what he wants to be when he grows up like “I want to be a ___________ when I grow up.” OR “When I grow up I want to be a _____________ because I want to ______________.”
- Art: allow the child to draw a picture of himself working in his dream job
- Unit Study: use as a part of a unit on community helpers; visit (or bring in as a guest speaker) community helpers like firemen, police officers, and business owners
- Math: create a graph of some of the most popular dream jobs from the book; allow students to vote on their favorite and create a graph together to depict the data
- Literature: pick 1 or more countries of interest; then, find a couple fiction books (such as myths, legends, or popular stories) in the library that reflect the culture; read and discuss them together
- Comparison: talk about similarities and differences between the children in the book and those in the class or neighborhood of the readers/listeners
Disclaimer: As per FTC guidelines, I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. I received no monetary compensation. All opinions expressed here are mine and mine alone.