This book teaches a lesson about poverty and child labor. Children from more affluent circumstances are shown on one side of the double-page spreads, claiming they “like” objects that are fun and/or luxurious, while on the other side, the children who have to make and/or labor over those objects say they don’t like them.
Some examples include a kid playing with lego bricks on one side, and a kid having to cart piles of bricks on his head on the other. There are happy kids eating rice juxtaposed with kids having to plant and pick the rice. A kid on one side claims “I like playing” while on the other, a kid asks, “What is playing?”
The illustrators Alessandro Lecis and Alessandra Panzeri, who work together as “Ale + Ale,” carry the weight of the story with mixed-media illustrations.
Evaluation: This book will encourage children to look at the world from someone else’s point of view – perhaps more important now than ever, and to feel gratitude for what they have. I think it definitely would benefit to have an adult reading along with the child to explain how kids who live in impoverished countries and even in poverty in wealthier countries have limited choices and opportunities.
The author explains in her Afterword:
“More than 16 million children in the United States – 22% of all U.S. children – live below the poverty line, and many children throughout the world must work to help their families.”
Lastly, she also provides information on “How Can I Help” regarding opportunities to fight poverty both at home and abroad.
Published in English by Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, 2017