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4.31  ·  Rating details ·  1,828 ratings  ·  170 reviews
With updated statistics and current geographical information, People by Peter Spier, first published in 1980, is a solid addition to any collection. Detailed facts and figures as well as a focus on the issue of diversity make this a great book for reference and a basis for discussion, both at home and in the classroom.
Paperback, 48 pages
Published April 1st 1988 by Doubleday Books for Young Readers (first published 1979)
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Average rating 4.31  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,828 ratings  ·  170 reviews

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Jan 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picturebooks
I risk the banality of superlative in saying this is the ultimate book on promoting internationality, but I've yet to see its equal. It tackles every possible subject under the vast category of cultural diversity - differences in physical appearances, clothes, food, holidays, games, homes, pets, beauty standards, beliefs, alphabets, jobs, tastes in art, etc. It also gives both xenophobia and the homogeneous construct their due beatings. (Domestic issues such as differences in gender, sexuality, ...more
Apr 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
We still own the battered beaten-up copy of this homage to humanity that our two daughters returned to so often that it needed patching up with a judicious amount of sticky tape. A wholehearted celebration of diversity, it devotes pages to appearance, homes, food, clothes, pastimes, jobs, pets, feasts and holidays, beliefs, language, a little history, and most of all, throughout it all, to 'People everywhere. And all different.' It was first published in 1981, and now that I took it out again to ...more
A brilliant idea for it's time, this book is distressingly out of date. One could excuse the use of drawings (Spier's specialty) instead of photographs, but the factual information is problematic. The first page reads:

"We all know there are lots and lots of people in the world-and many millions more each year.
There are over 4,000,000,000 human beings on earth, and if it takes you an hour to read this book, there will be 4,000 more!

By the year 2000, there will be 6,000,000,000 people on earth. If
Dec 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017, i-was-small
when i was seven or so my uncle gave me this book for thanksgiving - the one time of the year i see him. we sat on the sofa and he read every word of it to me in his soothing voice, and let me flip the pages. we counted the people on every page. i savored every second.

years later, what remains of this book is tattered. pages have fallen out and been shoved back into place, i think one here or there has even gone missing. tape lined what once served as a binding, before it, too, succumbed. small
Mar 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
People is a descriptive story written about people all over the world who are different from one another. The main character in this story is everyone. The author describes to the reader the different types of home lives that exist in the world. As a literacy, teacher I would use the text to teach students new vocabulary (ex. dialects, forbidden, and variants). In addition, People is also a great for students to learn how to communicate by using sign language. The illustrator Spier does an amazi ...more
Dec 17, 2010 rated it really liked it
Awesome book about the diversity and number of people on the earth. The number given in this book is 4 billion; that's a bit out of date as I believe we're slated to hit 7 billion this year. My four-year-old doesn't care about that, though. ...more
Jestine Ware
Sep 20, 2014 rated it did not like it
Why do people like this book so much? If you take a look at the illustrations, most cultures are portrayed as rudimentary, tribal, having exaggerated features, and the black braids look like medusa hair or spikes. Is this what you want to be showing your children? It takes extremes from each country and puts them into one place, but when talking about "ridiculousness" and showing culture, Western is the one that is the pinnacle of it. I'm also concerned that it begins with a white Adam and Eve, ...more
Oct 09, 2014 rated it did not like it
Oh so sadly dated. It has a veneer of globalist humanism but in fact it's quite eurocentric exoticist. Also I don't think it was particularly well-researched. In a part of different homes of the world, alongside, like Adobe houses or whatever, it shows an Aboriginal dwelling that's basically a corregated iron shanty - nothing traditional about that, it's simply poverty! This is just a very weird book with some kind of off attitudes embedded in it. Apparently some people work very hard but some a ...more
Shanna Gonzalez
Sep 23, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-04-08
A beautiful, insightful look at cultural diversity across the world in people's appearance, habits, personalities, languages, religions, and other features, written for children but with an adult's keen perception of human nature. It is densely illustrated in Spier's inimitable style, which could provide hours of scrutiny and consideration by young readers. His incisive visual portrayal of the human experience gives far greater meaning to the descriptive text that accompanies the pictures. This ...more
Jul 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
I got this book for Christmas when I was four years old. It was so influential in helping me learn about other cultures and the importance of being open-minded. At first, I thought a lot of the people in the book were funny because they were different than me. I laughed at the idea of sun worshippers, I laughed at the natives with bones through their noses, and thought it was stupid that some people wouldn't eat "normal" foods like pig and fish. But as I got older, I realized that having this bo ...more
Jennie Park
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this book. It is about embracing one anothers' differences and explaining how people are similar and different in many different ways. I love the illustrations and examples of the different cultures and variety of people the book displays. This book would be great for any grade level (probably not pre-kindergarten though because it may be a little too advanced but maybe not depending on your students) ...more
Alexis Levine
Feb 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: exe-3601, math
While I love this book and think it's great for discussing cultural diversities in the world and around us I do not think it would be good for the classroom because it has a picture of Adam and Eve not dressed in the Garden of Eden. If I were to read this to students though, I would discuss differences among people, both personal and outside appearances. We could make a graph of all the students with different color hair and eyes in the class to introduce graphing in a math lesson.

May 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A lovely picture-book that demonstrates to the reader all the very different PEOPLE who make up our world! This books celebrates and demonstrates diversity in multiple senses of the word. Each person on the earth is different and this nice little book reminds us we are just one of billions! Nice illustrations; an enjoyable (and perhaps, important) read for any age.
Jan 12, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: k-nf-unsorted
I wish I'd found this book 30 years ago! The kids would have enjoyed it.

I inserted a sticky note showing the world population for each decade starting in 1950

In some ways, this is an historical look at cultures; clothing styles and customs have been converging.
Mar 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cultural
I actually didn't read this book, but saw a video of children reading it. I think it was even more meaningful to me that way. :) ...more
Carolyn Klassen
Nov 10, 2019 rated it liked it
Lovely book that cherishes and celebrates diversity and (almost) turns Otherness on its head. Would have liked to see more modern faces of indigeneity / urban indigenous people.
Yaghoub Nourozi
is the best book for all people.
Jan 14, 2018 rated it liked it
An amazing book, that show us the difference between people around in the world.
A journey in traditions and differences around the world. :)

Sep 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great for teaching kids about diversity
Baby Bookworm
Jan 11, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: our-reviews

This review was originally written for The Baby Bookworm. Visit us for new picture books reviews daily!

Hello, friends! In honor of Multicultural Children’s Book Day, we read People by Peter Spier, a stunningly illustrated exploration of worldwide cultures.

There are a great many people that share our earth, billions to be exact. And those billions of people come in all shapes and sizes, colors, cultures, religions, and more. People eat different foods, they celebrate different holidays, they spea
M.M. Hudson
Oct 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
As the title suggests, this book is all about people. People of every nation, people around the world, people of every color and creed. I love this book because it takes an in depth look of how we all live, dress, worship, play, and enjoy life without prejudice.

The book gives children an idea of how being different is ok. However, it does not shy away from the fact that when we are different, that other people may not like us but, it is still ok to be the way we are. The author shows us that in
Jun 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people into people.
Recommended to Emily by: Grandma sent it!
Shelves: children-s-lit
I loved this book as a kid and read/studied it until the pages fell out. It has great, detailed illustrations celebrating the diversity of the people on this planet.

There is a page where white villagers are pointing and making fun of people dressed like native aborigines...and then a picture of the "natives" pointing at the odd white people. That cultural relevancy was so curious to me as a kid--not all people think the same things are beautiful. Normal is different for everyone.

I use to cry w
Sara Kearns
Jun 07, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone with a child and anyone without a child
I bought this for one of my nephews about ten years ago, and loved it so much I bought one for myself. Then I gave that one to one of my neices: it is absolutely one of the best children's books I've ever read, with beautifully painted illustrations, and a wonderfully validating feel to it. It celebrates children and all kinds of diversity with a global view that derives joy from all sorts of things about people, from ears and noses to homes and rituals. It encourages curiosity by including thin ...more
Julie Suzanne
Aug 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Parents and children together
I couldn't have predicted that my 9-year-old son would love this as much as he did. This was a read-aloud (more like an examination & exploration than reading) that spanned a week, and those moments were some that I will cherish more than anything else this summer so far. He has never been more engrossed in anything than this simplistic but brilliantly detailed presentation of "people": how we ARE. Spier shows us how people around the world vary in dress, ideas, systems (my son was amazed at dif ...more
My son and I read this book as a part of Sonlight's P4/5 curriculum. I have fallen in love with this book. There are so many illustrations and so much detail, I wish we had read this over the course of a week instead of at one sitting. Also, I found it a bit difficult to read aloud. We read and looked at illustrations of different types of dwellings, clothing, pets, looks, and much more. The large size is perfect for the illustrations. We also saw examples of different alphabets, including sign ...more
Reading Level: 3rd grade
This book contains detailed facts and figures about people and cultures all around the world. It is a great multicultural read with fun pictures and representations of many different cultures. Not only is it fun to look at, but it also contains a clear and important message that being different is okay and that diversity is what makes the world an interesting and better place. On every single page there are a ton of pictures that kids can look at more closely and read ab
Oct 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: preschool
I wish I'd had this book in the house as a kid. It's probably a little un-PC by current standards in the way that it places judgment (some people are good and others are not), but that's part of why it's so useful - it acknowledges that people all over the world are different and illustrates almost systematically all different kinds of bodies, faces, hair, homes, traditions, and games around the world. What I like is that it has darkness to it - it discusses poverty and death in a really straigh ...more
Shannon Cate
Aug 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
I really love this book. I used it when I taught preschool in the late 80s-early 90s and I use it now with my kids at home. I do find fault with its title page picture that features a sort of "Adam and Eve" couple of people who are...white. That is objectively unrealistic and ideologically posits whiteness as the default normative "person" of the title. So I took some sharpies and made those people dark brown with curly black hair. Then I went through the book and did the same with some of the o ...more
Krysta McFarland
This informational book that perfect for grades 1-3 is an AMAZING book if you need one for a diverse class. This book goes into detail not only on different colors of people and where they are from but also on every little detail of what makes each person different than the rest. I love the fact that this book emphasizes that it is alright to be different and that different does not mean bad. This book honestly is one that I would love to have in my classroom no matter what type of class I have ...more
Vanessa Holzknecht
This is an amazing book that can teach kids diversity in every type of way. It doesn't just focus on race or religion which many books like this do. This book gets into shapes sizes celebrations dress, food, clothes, activities, games and much more from around the world. It sends the message that we should love and accept everyone because we are all different but we all deserve to be treated well. I would love to use this book in the classroom with students to give them a better understanding or ...more
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Peter Spier has established himself as one of the most gifted illustrators in this county. His Noah's Ark was the 1978 Caldecott Award winner, while The Fox Went Out on a Chilly Night was a Caldecott Honor book in 1962. The firs two books in his widely acclaimed Mother Goose Library, London Bridge Is Falling Down! and To Market! To Market! were winner and runner-up respectively for the Boston Glob ...more

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