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“A good book is the best of friends, the same today and forever.”
Summary: Ask a child anywhere in the world what they wish for, whether God is fair (or not), and whom they would want to meet, and you will forever be amazed and awed by their thoughts. Though the children were completely different in appearance, environment, culture, and sometimes, thought, they were all honest and innocent. Put together, this collection of thoughts of children symbolizes the similarities, differences, hopes, hates, and personalities of people. This is a collection of interviews with children throughout the world.
Type of Reading: family reading, independent reading, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 6 to 10; read yourself: 10 and Up
Young Reader Reaction: This is a touching book that explores the hearts and minds of children around the world. It is an exceptionally inspirational and moving collection of the hearts and minds of children throughout the world. This book allows us to see the kinds of lives that kids in the rest of the world live, and to appreciate the fortunate lives that we live. The questions and answers can truly touch us, can allow us to reach deeper into our own hearts and minds, gain much knowledge and, possibly, better human virtues. We come to realize that perhaps children can be so insightful, innocent, open, truthful, compassionate, and even similar. Whispers from Children’s Hearts by Lisa Haisha is a beautifully illustrated book that connects all of us as human beings, allows us to know of each other, and inspires us to care about ourselves and each other.
Adult Reader Reaction: No matter how you decide to read this (cover to cover, pick and choose), you'll find some wonderful insights about life. Although our preschooler asks to read the book, s/he is more interested in the pictures and answering the questions, rather than listening to others.
Pros: The book can be enjoyed in one sitting or many. Having a child's perspective of a "grown-up" world is refreshing.
Cons: If empathy and compassion are the goal, the target audience age is probably more 6 to 13, as most 4-year-olds don't yet understand death (particularly a parent)
Borrow or Buy: DEFINITELY Borrow. This book is, in truth, a book for people of all ages. Although it looks like a children’s book from the outside, we should all come to realize that these questions apply to all of us, and that they allow us to open our eyes to the whole world. Although these are the voices of children, parents need to be prepared to answer some very-adult sounding questions.
Educational Themes: The book offers opportunity for reflection, compassion, and empathy, understanding, and teaching geography. US children, in particular, would learn a lot from what their peers have to say.
Literary Categories: nonfiction - poetry, picture book, life lessons, emotions