7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #749: Featuring Aaron Cushley

h1 June 27th, 2021 by jules


Last time I checked, there were more than 7.5 billion people on planet Earth. It can be difficult, with such a huge number on such a huge scale, to think about what life is like for others — but not when you do some math and shrink that number to 100 (which has certainly been done before, such as here and here). This is the idea behind If the World Were 100 People: A Visual Guide to Our Global Village (Crown Books), written by Jackie McCann, illustrated by Aaron Cushley, and coming to shelves in July.

Or as McCann puts it in the opening of this book, whose sources (all online) are listed on the title page spread: “It’s tricky to picture 8,000,000,000 people, so instead, let’s imagine the whole planet is a village where 100 people live.” Each person, the book explains, represents “80 million people (more or less) in the real world. … If we focus on 100 people, it’s easier to see the things we have in common and the things that make us different.”

So, in using these percentages, we read that 50 people are female and 50, male. We read about where people live on the globe (there’s just one person in Oceania); how many have a safe home (20 do not); how many can read or write (86 of them); how many have enough food to eat and how many have “clean water that they can drink or use anytime”; how many have access to electricity; and much more. As you can see, this can be eye-opening content for more economically privileged children across the globe who don’t have to think about where their next meal will come from and for whom something like electricity is a given. There’s even an eye-opening spread about the distribution of wealth across the globe. (“In our village, a few people have almost ALL the wealth in the world. That’s because these things aren’t shared equally and some people have so much more than others. …”)

The book’s final spread closes with “big questions” and asks readers to consider what life will look like in 2050. How can we reduce food waste, we are asked, and “improve the way we share the food we have?” Where will the world’s energy come from? How can we ensure eldery people are taken care of? It’s a lot to chew on — but are questions worth asking in order to get children thinking about how we can make change for the better.

Below are a few spreads from this engaginge piece of nonfiction, which is especially perfect for budding sociologists and mathematicians. Aaron Cushley does a fine job of keeping these busy spreads easy on the eyes; it’d be tempting to visually clutter up things here, but his composition choices throughout the book are excellent ones. I love, for instance, his way of illustrating the “Do you have a place to call home?” spread, pictured below. …


“How different are we? Take a good look at your friends — do they look like you or
are they different? Everyone on the planet is completely unique.”

(Click spread to enlarge and read text in its entirety)


“Do you have a place to call home? Whether you live in a town house, a single family home, a log cabin in the woods, an apartment, a clay hut, or a wooden house on stilts, most people have somewhere to live. But not everyone in our village is so lucky.”
(Click spread to enlarge and read text in its entirety)


“Is there enough food to go around? We have enough food on the planet to feed everyone, but it isn’t divided equally and not everyone is well fed. Most people have plenty to eat, but others do not and sometimes they are very hungry.”
(Click spread to enlarge and read text in its entirety)


“Do you use a computer or watch TV? What do these activities have in common?
Both use electricity! Electricity is a type of energy, and most of the energy we use every day and rely upon comes from fossil fuels. But does everyone have access to it?”

(Click spread to enlarge and read text in its entirety)


(Click cover to enlarge)


IF THE WORLD WERE 100 PEOPLE. Text copyright © 2021 by Egmont Books UK Ltd. Cover art and interior illustrations copyright © 2021 by Aaron Cushley and reproduced by permission of the publisher, Crown Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books.

* * * Jules’s Kicks * * *

Note for any new readers: 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks is a weekly meeting ground for taking some time to reflect on Seven(ish) Exceptionally Fabulous, Beautiful, Interesting, Hilarious, or Otherwise Positive Noteworthy Things from the past week, whether book-related or not, that happened to you. New kickers are always welcome.

1) The 2021 Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards were announced this past week! Such great choices.

2) My daughters’ talented friends and seeing them in action.

3) Seeing compassionate, supportive parenting on display in my extended family.

4) I made it to a pool for the first time this summer …

5) … because work finally slowed down a bit.

6) Owl House, season two!

7) Summerween plans.

What are YOUR kicks this week?

7 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #749: Featuring Aaron Cushley”

  1. What a fascinating book. I can see where teachers and kids would love it.
    Jules, what a week. Our pool is still closed due to pandemic concerns, How lucky for you to be able to get to the pool. Glad work is slowing a bit.
    My kicks:
    1. Fresh Hood strawberries. Small but so sweet.
    2. Seeing my niece and family…
    3. At the coast.
    4. Family history research.
    5. Early morning.
    6. New place for local pizza.
    7. Air condition and so thankful to be downstairs. It’s going to be 113 today. That is crazy!
    Have a great week.

  2. Oh, Jules . . . this book looks very interesting. By a miracle, I might be around in 2050, but those questions are already relevant.

    I loved the announcement of the Boston Globe-Horn Book awards. It is always exciting to see their choices.

    Glad you made it to the pool because work is slowing down.

    Jone: This time of year with strawberries is wonderful, so yummy. Keep cool, Jone.

    My kicks:
    1. Rain
    2. It has been two weeks since the move. I really enjoy my new neighborhood, but the unpacking will last for months.
    3. Getting the multiple gardens in shape
    4. Picture books
    5. New NF by Candace Fleming
    6. Birdsong
    7. Walking with Mulan

    Have a super week everyone.

  3. Ooh, I think my son might really dig that book.

    Jules, Summerween sounds fantastic. Halloween was a sad non-event for us this year and a second chance would be great.

    Jone, stay as cool as you can. My heart is with you and everyone dealing with dangerous heat.

    Margie, new living spaces are always so full of new possibilities! But I know that doesn’t make packing and unpacking any fun. What’s in your gardens?

    My kicks:

    1. Kid 1’s summer job and the baked goods she occasionally brings home
    2. Kid 2 started mandolin lessons 2 weeks ago and is already pluck pluck plinging recognizable tunes
    3. The possibility of adding another dog to the family even though…
    4. Dog number 1 is chaos on 4 feet
    5. I assembled something with lots of pieces this week. Wonky tools, confusing instructions, minimal swearing. Feels like a significant accomplishment
    6. The zinnias we planted are finally blooming, despite being overshadowed by…
    7. A sunflower that we didn’t plant. The flowers are under and around our bird feeders, so I guess some feathered friend wanted in on the gardening game

    Happy Sunday, y’all!

  4. Hi Imps! Quick fly by posting! That book looks awesome. My kicks this week are visits and vacation. YAY.

  5. Jone, I JUST heard on the news about temperatures where you are, and I could not believe it! Stay cool. Enjoy your strawberries! Since we have carved a watermelon today, we may have watermelon sorbet.

    Margie, good luck upacking and happy new home!

    Shauna, what kind of dog will you (maybe) get?! Enjoy the baked goods (yum), and how cool to hear live mandolin in your home.

    Little Willow: A fly-by hello to you. Happy vacation!

  6. Love this book and the illustrations. Such a great way to make the larger world more accessible and relatable.

    Jules – what a good week you’ve had. Yay for visits to the pool and work slowing down, talented kids and supportive parents.

    Jone – strawberries, family, the coast and pizza – yumm! Hope you’ve been able to stay cool this weekend!

    Margie – rain sounds heavenly right now. Happy unpacking and hope you enjoy exploring your new neighborhood on your walks with Mulan.

    Shauna – hooray for baked goods and music in the house! Is the possible second dog a buddy for Dog # 1?

    Hi Little Willow!

    My kicks this week:
    1) Celebrating another birthday. After the year we’ve all had, feeling very lucky to have survived another journey round the sun.
    2) Speaking of the sun -grateful for an ac unit, ceiling fans and floor fans to get through this heat wave. It hit 111 today!
    3) Watched the very silly and fun Barb and Star Go to Vista del Mar today. Great distraction from the heat.
    4) Recently learned the series The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles is on Amazon streaming. Gorgeous locations with historical figures.
    5) Dog ice cream for Daisy.
    6) Breakfast and a catch up with out of town friends. So nice to be able to see old friends again.
    7) Cupcakes for my birthday – red velvet and birthday cake! Yum.
    7.5) Making my own version of a lemon gin fizz for birthday cocktails.

    Have a great week everyone! Stay cool in the heat!

  7. Happy birthday again, Rachel! Red veltet cupcakes. Yum. I reeeeally want to see Barb and Star, so thanks for the reminder. STAY COOL in that extreme heat! I can’t believe you all are hotter than we are in Tennessee.

Leave a Comment

Should you have trouble posting, please contact sevenimp_blaine@blaine.org. Thanks.