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This is How We Do It: One Day in the Life of Seven Kids from around the World by Matt Lamothe

Years ago I reviewed What the World Eats by Faith D'Aluisio and Peter Menzel and love it so much I have reposted the review often. Visiting 30 families in 24 countries, the authors photograph the families with one week's worth of food and provide fascinating statistics about potable water, meat consumption, number of MacDonald's and more. It is completely engaging and, having two copies in my library, it is page through often. Now, with This is How We Do It: One Day in the Life of Seven Kids from around the World by Matt Lamothe, cofounder of ALSO, a three person design company, I have a new book to pore over!

While I love the photography of Hungry Planet, Lamothe's marvelous illustrations for This is How We Do It are perfectly suited to the format of this book, unifying the seven different children. This is How We Do It features three girls and four boys ranging in age from seven to eleven, from across the world - Peru, Italy, Uganda, Iran, Japan, India and Russia.

This is How We Do It follows the seven children throughout their day, each two page spread having a theme, starting with This is Where I Live. This is Who I Live With shows the families of each child, moving on to what they wear to school, what they eat for breakfast, how they go to school and who their teachers are, including what they call them, how they learn and how they spell their names. For each child, there is a sentence or two of explanation and description with non-English words being underlined, indicating a more in depth description can be found in the glossary in the back matter.
What the children eat for lunch if followed by how they play and how they help around the house. Dinner and evening activities close out the day, with the final spread showing us where they all sleep. Lamothe closes the book unifying all seven of the children with the two page spread below.

In a lovely surprise, Lamothe reveals the seven families who shared their lives with him and trusting him to, "turn them into illustrated characters." The author's note reveals that Lamothe, while walking through the jungle during a trip to Uganda and talking to his guide about favorite phone apps and what to do if you hear an elephant approaching, found himself, "amazed at both how different and how similar Uganda was from where I lived." Lamothe thought more about the similarities and differences, believing that, "the more you learn about different people, the more you see yourself in them, and the more accepting you become. The more I thought about this, the more I wanted to compare and contrast moments in the lives of children from around the world. I hope to surprise readers with similarities between us, as well as teach readers about the things we do completely differently." With the help of friends and, "friends of friends of friends and family," Lamothe found seven children from families who have lived in the same country for generations. These children and their families agreed to share their day for This Is How We Do It. Their families share pictures of all the moments in the book, from breakfast to bedtime, making this a memorable, wonderful book, transporting readers across the globe and back. 

Source: Review Copy


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