I Like, I Don't Like is one of the more sobering children's books I've ever seen. Author Anna Baccellierre contrasts Western kids' preferences with the reality of child labor around the world. You like to eat rice? He doesn't like working in the rice paddy. You like trying on your mom's many shoes? She doesn't like working at a shoe shine stand. You like listening to music? He doesn't like having to play music for tips to support his family. And the starkest contrast of all: You like playing. He asks, "What is playing?"
I really love Ale + Ale's collage-like illustrations. (This is the artistic team of Alessandro Lecis and Alessandra Panzeri.) They find the perfect balance between the playfulness of some kids and the life of labor of others.
It's never too early for Western kids to get some perspective on their place in the world. In the U.S., a kid is considered poor if his mom buys his clothes at the second-hand store. (I know, that's a gross over-simplification, but still. . . .) If your child has a roof over his head, goes to school every day, and only works so he can have a little cash for video games or to go out with friends, he needs to know that some kids have to work to support their families. I Like, I Don't Like is a great start to introduce young children to the concept of child labor and the privilege of growing up in relative wealth.
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the complimentary electronic review copy!