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Harking directly back to Edward Steichen's classic Family of Man (1955, 1983) in design and tone, this portfolio of full- colour photographs captures children around the world joyfully engaging in common pursuits. The photos, captioned only by their countries of origin, are grouped thematically, linked by a few words of text``To be a kid means playing ball . . . running races. . . . or playing a board game"and depict clean, well-kept young people busy, for the most part, with shared activities. A follow- up essay reinforces the message that the lives, needs, and goals of children the world over are very similar, though the details may differ. Without descriptive notes, many of those details may be lost on viewers, but the theme is a worthwhile one, appealingly presented. (map) (Picture book/nonfiction. 4-9) -- Copyright ©1998, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Unquestionably, to be a kid is the most exciting thing to be. With a foreword by Martin and Chris Kratt, creators of the PBS series Kratts' Creatures and Zoboomafoo, TO BE A KID presents the best parts of growing up. Filled with beautiful photographs, TO BE A KID celebrates kids as they play and learn, as they spend time with their friends and family, and as they discover their environment and the world. Kids, no matter where they are from, share this same wonderful adventure and at the heart of it a kid is just a kid. Anyone who is a kid, was a kid, has a kid, or even knows a kid will love To Be a Kid. It is sure to be a favorite, the pages to be turned again and again.


PreS-Gr 3-From Antigua to Oman, children from a variety of countries are represented in this attractive album. Two to three photographs on each page show the youngsters engaged in a similar activity. The simple, repetitive phrase "To be a kid means..." flows well as an introduction to each set of pictures and follows with a brief description of the activity portrayed. The large and colorful photographs of mostly smiling children imbue the book with a sense of vitality and optimism. The authors successfully convey the idea that children from diverse cultures remain singularly constant in their creative play and love for family and friends. To Be a Kid is remarkably similar to Ajmera's previous publication Children from Australia to Zimbabwe (Charlesbridge, 1997)-even to the point of including a photograph of the same girl from Ecuador taken at a slightly different angle-and compares favorably with Barnabas and Anabel Kindersley's Children Just Like Me (DK, 1995). However, unlike the latter title, it does not contain any factual information about the countries or cultures represented in the book.-Paul Kelsey, East Baton Rouge Parish Public Library, LA

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