Where In The World Books is a mobile bookseller in the Washington DC area specializing in children’s books with an international or global theme. Our bookstand can be found at the Fenton Street Market in Silver Spring, at the Bethesda Farm Women’s Cooperative Market, and at school-based events and fundraisers. We are also on Facebook (WhereInTheWorldBooks).
Meanwhile, our website curates a wide range of books to make it easy for parents, schools, and libraries to find new and classic titles that will help expand our children’s horizons. Click on each book’s cover image to purchase. (Where In The World Books is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.)
One thing I know about kids, especially little ones, is that they love to learn facts. Yet so often today our educational strategies emphasize abstract thinking. That’s important of course, but it may not be the best or most solid foundation.
It’s discouraging, for example, to see elementary or middle school students struggling to analyze the factors in, say, the horrendous Darfur conflict in Sudan – knowing that they have practically no idea of where Sudan is in the world, its people, culture, and geography, its history, or what Sudanese people have contributed to global civilization. I worry that this crisis-scenario approach to global education encourages our children to “close the shutters” on the rest of the world, because they conclude that it is just a depressing burden to think about, rather than an exciting vista.
Better, it seems to me, is if we help our young children grow up knowing that cool people are doing cool things all over the world, and if we get them interested in finding out more. That’s the best foundation on which to build, later on, an understanding of how problems and conflicts develop, and perhaps how to solve them.
Plus, this foundation equips our kids to be good citizens in our democracy, where civic involvement on specific issues is the key to responsible government. Many Americans are knowledgeable about health, the environment, education, and other domestic issues, and they organize in many ways to nudge our state and federal governments in the right direction. But when it comes to foreign affairs we don’t have the same collective civic expertise, and our presidents are left to go it alone – sometimes with disastrous consequences. I’d like to see a new generation of kids who grow up to know as much about Guatemala as they do about gluten or GMOs, as much about Finland as about fracking, as much about Sri Lanka as about standardized testing.
So that’s the goal of this small business, and it is a goal shared by most of the brilliant and talented authors and illustrators of the terrific books you will find here.
Those of us who share this way of thinking also need spaces to debate ideas and communicate new information, and “Where In The World” aims to be such a space. Our regular blog articles will highlight events and issues in the world of globally themed children’s books — and we welcome your suggestions for events to cover, and your own guest blog articles.
Once again, welcome to our website – we hope you enjoy spending time here!
Where In The World Books