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Author Margriet Ruurs begins this engaging informational picture book by posing an intriguing question: What is a school? Is it a building with classrooms? Or can it be any place where children learn? The fascinating stories that follow expand how young readers think of school as they learn about the experiences of real children in thirteen different countries around the world. While there are huge differences in their environments, all the children profiled share similar desires to learn, read and play with others.
I love that the stories of each student and their day are based on their own words, with the help of family. It’s also nice to see Shanika attending a First Nations school chosen for Canada, where children can learn about the Cree language, the meaning of the word Kokum, along with tradition foods and practices. I love that almost every story includes an important word from another language! There is a celebration of diversity through cultural experiences, family, physical abilities, and personal preferences of the student, such as their favourite subject. I bought this as a gift but would recommend it as a book for children in general or as a donation to a school library.