Thursday, August 21, 2014

Review: Families Around the World by Margriet Ruurs

This colorful cross section of families introduces readers to fourteen real children from around the world and the people they love the most, from Sanne in the Netherlands, who has two moms; to Gilad, whose parents and siblings live on a kibbutz with other families in Israel; to Ji Eun in South Korea, whose parents both work outside the home. An engaging book about different cultures and what they share: the importance of family, and the familiar ways people care for one another.
If your child is interested in learning about other cultures, this book may be a good place to start.

In Families Around the World, we meet several children from around the world who share what their life is like in their country.

I enjoyed the different stories in this book. They were told in verses, and I thought they were a little bit short, however, they were able to give a nice enough glimpse into the lives of children from different cultures. Some of the things mentioned in the children's stories were things I was already familiar with from World History class, but I think kids will find them fascinating.

Each story starts with a greeting from the person's country, and most stories have one or a few words from the child's native tongue. There's a glossary at the end of the book, with the words grouped according to which story they were found in. It's a great way for kids to learn new words and it's easier for them to look things up while reading a story.

There were plenty of interesting stories, like the Mayan who lived in Mexico and the child who lived in a kibbutz in Israel. My favorite story, though, is the one of Bataar from Mongolia. His nomadic life sounds fascinating.

The illustrations were done in what looked like mixed media. I can't be sure, but some parts look as though they were paper cut-outs. I thought they were nicely done, even if they're not the type of illustrations I usually go for.

Thanks to NetGalley and Kids Can Press for the e-ARC. Publication date of Families Around the World is on September 1, 2014.


  1. Kids learn about different cultures.
  2. Kids can learn new words.
  3. The stories are easy for children to read.


  1. The stories may feel a little bit short. 

Back home the house smells good.
Beet soup bubbles on the stove.
I help to cut circles of dough
to make my favorite food - pierogi!
Mamusia stuffs them with potatoes and cheese.

  1. Your child wants to learn about different cultures.
  2. Your child likes learning new words.
  3. You are looking for a book you can read with your child. 




Note: This post contains Amazon and Book Depository affiliate links.

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