One of my most treasured childhood books is the illustrated picture book “Children All Around the World”. My father gave it to me one Sunday. It’s always a Sunday that he brought home books after he returned from hanging out with his friends.
This book fascinated me for many years. It had a colourful map with the names of selected countries and beautifully dressed children standing on flat illustrated earth in centerfold. The following pages featured each child, white, black, brown, yellow in their amazing costumes and hair styles; eyes of different colours and shapes, standing in front of unusual houses, some bricks, others wood or straw.
I saw a copy of the book recently and thought about all those children my age from the many wonderful countries around the world.
They must have grown up too – the little Dutch girl with her clogs and bonnet, the Red Indian (now known as Native American) boy with his feathered headband and tribal wear, the Japanese girl all dolled up in her kimono, the German lad in his lederhosen, the Malay child in sarong, the young Arabian, Spanish, Chinese, Russian, Mexican – everyone so different, everyone with happy innocent faces holding hands standing anti-gravity around a world smaller than the kids.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a real update of those children around the world? What are they doing now? Have their homes changed? How different are their lives now?
Perhaps a book on “Boomers All Around the World” tracing the growing up years, the teenage days, starting work, settling down, raising families, retiring, searching, wanting, loving, wandering.
I wonder what happened to my favourite child, the Eskimo in furry coat standing outside his igloo?