Review: This Is How We Do It

Happy Wednesday, everyone! It’s time to join once again with Kid Lit Frenzy to celebrate the best of children’s literature for young people.

Hardcover, 52 pages
May 2, 2017 : Chronicle Books 
Source: Raincoast Books

Follow the real lives of seven kids from Italy, Japan, Iran, India, Peru, Uganda, and Russia for a single day! In Japan Kei plays Freeze Tag, while in Uganda Daphine likes to jump rope. But while the way they play may differ, the shared rhythm of their days—and this one world we all share—unites them. This genuine exchange provides a window into traditions that may be different from our own as well as a mirror reflecting our common experiences. Inspired by his own travels, Matt Lamothe transports readers across the globe and back with this luminous and thoughtful picture book.

This picture book absolutely encapsulates the very best nonfiction has to offer for young people. Visually stunning, thoroughly researched, relatable and eye-opening, and absolutely engaging, This Is How We Do It is a must-have title for any school, library or personal collection.

Author-illustrator Matt Lamothe travels the world with seven real children living in countries all around the world and watches them as they go about a day in their lives. The book showcases the children’s living arrangements, families, commutes to school, school days, languages, meals, hobbies and more, all with colourful, realistic illustrations. There’s a comprehensive glossary which helps explain some of the local terminology, as well as an informative Author’s Note that gives insight into Lamothe’s creative process.

I particularly appreciated Lamothe’s note that “none of these kids can be representative of their country or culture” – all too often children’s books about a country or culture create an unfair sense of cultural homogeneousness that overlooks the diversity that exists in every community. Not every person in Uganda eats the same food, though there are dishes that are more common or popular than others. Not every person in Japan lives in the same style of home, though there are housing styles that are more prevalent across the country. I’ve seen children’s books about Canada that make me feel as though I must live in a completely different country! While it is important to learn about life in other countries, it is also important not to see other countries as being static, or any less vibrant and diverse than our own, in their own way!

This is How We Do It is a fascinating title that helps children connect with their peers all around the world, and encourages them to discover that, while all children are equal and all are important, it’s also vital that we celebrate and embrace our differences, because they make the world a more colourful and interesting place! We all love to play, but we all play in different ways. We all love our families, but our families come in different shapes and sizes. We all love delicious food, even if our dishes look, smell and taste different. Imagine how sad and boring the world would be without all these wonderful variations!

Make sure to pick up a copy of This Is How We Do It and share it with the young people in your life, wherever you might be!

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  • Reply carriegelson

    So true! We are on the same page about this book indeed! Thinking about how I might use this book in the classroom. Can’t wait to share it with my students.

    April 19, 2017 at 5:15 pm
  • Reply lindabaie

    Jane, between you and Carrie, I am very excited to read this book. It is important that those highlighted in the book not be stereotyped as representative of all who live there, but it’s also fun and interesting to see how these particular ones “do it”. Thanks!

    April 19, 2017 at 6:04 pm
    • Reply Jane the Raincity Librarian

      It’s such a fantastic book, I’m so glad it’s getting a lot of attention! I love that the author is so transparent, and really walks readers through his research process, which is pretty fascinating for young readers.

      April 19, 2017 at 6:06 pm
  • Reply Michele

    I just wrote on Carrie’s blog, I’ve had this book on my radar for awhile, I can’t wait to read it!

    April 19, 2017 at 6:35 pm
  • Reply annettepimentel

    It’s interesting to me that most of the book is illustrated. I imagine they must have considered using photos throughout and not just at the end. But the shoes you show are so engaging!

    April 20, 2017 at 12:48 am
  • Reply Kileen

    Thank you for sharing at Ravenwould.

    April 24, 2017 at 5:47 pm
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