Written and illustrated by Matt LaMothe

Just fine!

A day in the life: this book features seven kids (based on real people) and what a typical school day is like for them. The children come from families in Italy, Japan, Peru, Uganda, Russia, India, and Iran. We see each successive daily event (like eating breakfast, going to school, playing after school, etc.) and what the kids would typically do. It’s very straightforward and simple, without any particular character building or emotional expression – just stating the facts of their days. 

It’s important to note what the author says at the end of the book where you see photos of the actual families the book is based on: although these children were chosen from homes that represent a very traditional way of life for that country, the things they like or do can’t be generalized to every person from that country. Just because the boy from Peru has a lot of siblings doesn’t mean everybody in Peru has large families! Please make sure that your child understands that this is what life is like just for one kid in that country; the book isn’t trying to show that that is the way all people from that country live.  

During the reading: 

  • Make sure to respond really positively to the things you read about from all the different cultures! Children are attuned to picking up on subtle cues given by people around them in order to understand how to think about the world around them. They will pick up on the subtle cues you might give (that you may not even be aware of!) as you read about traditions in all these countries. So make your verbal, tonal, physical, etc. cues positive and help your child to develop appreciation for the good in all cultures of the world!
  • Help your child to recognize and acknowledge the ways in which they’re similar to the kids in the story! Talk about the things they have in common as you read about them. 
  • Help your child to also appreciate the differences that exist between them and the kids of the story. Point out how cool it is that they study different things, or do different activities than what your child is used to, and ask your child what they think about those different things!
  • A fun way to incorporate this book into your life after you’re done reading would be to have your child pick something from the book (such as an activity or meal) that they’ve never done before and then try it out!
  • If your family originates from one of these countries, it could be really special to focus especially on that country and to really emphasize that heritage you have!

Themes: Appreciating others

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What did you think of the book?

Have you tried any of these ideas? Comment below to share how they worked for your family!