Maya Ajmera, author
Maya Ajmera is the creator and spokesperson for Children from Australia to Zimbabwe: A Photographic Journey Around the World and co-author of the global education guide, Raising Children to Become Caring Contributors to the World. Maya is the founder and executive director of SHAKTI for Children. In the January 1999 issue of The Chronicle of Philanthropy, Maya was named among "A new guard of non-profit leaders...that will shape the charity world in the next century."
Maya is also the co-author of To Be a Kid and Extraordinary Girls, both brilliantly photographed books that present a picture of global diversity, tolerance, and joy. Maya's books are published in partnership with SHAKTI for Children, and a portion of the proceeds from the sales of her books go to support community-based educational projects for children around the world. It is the mission of SHAKTI for Children to teach children to value diversity and grow into productive, caring citizens of the world.
Read more about Maya.
Anna Rhesa Versola, author
Anna Rhesa Versola is originally from Manila, the Philippines. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and has a master's degree from Duke University. .
Read more about Anna.
- Early Childhood News Director's Choice Award
- Learning Magazine Teacher's Choice Award
- Read, America! Collection
At first glance, this looks like an ABC book, but the alphabet plays a distant second to a combination gazetteer and cultural geography. Each of 26 countries is covered in a spread that includes a greeting in the appropriate language, a map, and several full-color photographs of children in typical settings and situations; the result is an encounter with the local dress, transportation, and architecture, as well as a glimpse of the work and play of children. Ajmera and Versola offer a gold mine of interesting national nuggets--that Zimbabwe means "stone houses," that girls and women in Yemen decorate their hands with swirls of henna, that Budapest is really two cities, Buda and Pest, split by the Danube--and include concise regional and ethnic histories, with X standing for the "imaginary" country of Xanadu. A short fact sheet for every country relays one particularly fascinating item: the proportion of children to the population as a whole, giving readers instant understanding of population pyramids, e.g., Russia has 34 million children out of an overall population of 147 million, while Oman has 1 million children in a population of 2 million. A pleasing and hopeful book--sugar-coated as it may be--with a feel-good global outlook.
Designed to make children aware of belonging to an international community, Children from Australia to Zimbabwe: A Photographic Journey Around the World by Maya Ajmera and Anna Rhesa Versola combines lively photographs of children with maps of, and facts about, 26 countries. With admirable economy, the text outlines a child's daily life in each country, including its unique traditions and history.
Another title published in partnership with SHAKTI for Children, this photographic journal alphabetically introduces 25 countries to readers. Beautiful photographs of children at work, play, and worship accompany chatty paragraphs offering facts and tidbits about each country. Younger readers will enjoy Ajmera and John D. Ivanko's To Be a Kid (Charlesbridge,1999), another photo-essay celebrating the universality of childhood around the world.
Page count: 64
8 1⁄2 x 11