Book Reviews

 

Winner of the 2005 Notable Book Award from the Children’s Book Council and National Council for Social Studies, the Milestones Project book has sold more than 25,000 copies.

For more info on the Milestones Project book and how to purchase a copy click here.

 

Reviews:

The creators of The Milestones Project, an online archive of 23,000 photographs of children, from various countries, here assemble an upbeat sampling of those images. An introduction describes the mission of the project as “a comprehensive effort to document childhood experiences In places far and wide. We aim to create a more peaceful world by encouraging the recognition that, beneath our beliefs or skin color, we are all the same.? The Steckels collect in these pages photos of familiar moments of childhood—losing a tooth, celebrating a birthday, beginning school—demonstrating that these international children are “part of a universal family.? More than three dozen children’s authors and illustrators (among them Naomi Shihab Nye, Margaret Mahy, Cynthia Rylant, Eric Carle, William Joyce—who also provides an illustration—and J.K. Rowling) share brief, heartfelt, sometimes humorous reminiscences from their early years, alongside spontaneous quotes from children. At times the text and photograph layouts are inspired, such as a checkerboard page of children’s quotes about their toys, and images of various children with dolls, teddy bears and the like; other pairings may be confusing to children (e.g., a quote from a South African, paired with a photo of a child from India). What will linger longest in readers’ memories are the crisply focused, beautifully reproduced full-color portraits, which—except for several revealing the anguish of getting a haircut or visiting the doctor—focus entirely on the positive. Ages 4-up."

Publishers Weekly
October 2004

 

“Words will never do them justice. To appreciate what the Milestones Project is doing, you must see the pictures. You can feel your assumptions about race and nationalism slip away as you move from one loving, trusting, hopeful child’s face to another. Suddenly your urge to protect them – all of them – is profound."

Diane Carman
Denver Post

 

“Feast of Photographs. The quotes are a great read, and the photos are appealing and enlightening."

Bay Views, California

 

“This is an excellent book to leave on the coffee table, for browsing and for conversation. Both children and adults will enjoy its content."

Richmond Times-Dispatch

 

“Positively powerful and right on target for our time."

Suzanne Hammer
Universal Lending Foundation

 

“What a wonderful book you have produced."

Uzo Unobagha
Nigerian Educator and children’s book author

 

“Visual feast with heartwarming photographs. A wonderful book for parents and children to share together."

Shirley Ernst
Eastern Connecticut State University

 

“Sharp, colorful photos."

Book List, Chicago, Illinois

 

“Teaches a valuable lesson."

Lowell Massachusetts Library

 

“Delightful color pictures."

Multicultural Review
Ballston Lake, New York

 

“Inspirational and humorous – will have children recognizing – and empathizing with each other."

Best Books of 2005
A Children’s Place Bookstore

 

“By viewing the magnificent photos, readers can experience important childhood passages. A lovely book and a great discussion starter for all ages."

St. Paul Public Library

 

“It is beautiful, such a celebration of life."

Joy Conley, New Zealand
Award-winning children’s author

 

“Beautiful, so many wonderful pictures and words . . . it truly is an inspiration."

Rita Morin
Canadian Social Activist

 

“Fantastic! The integration of the original writings with the photographs creates a compelling work, and one easily accessible to all."

Reynelda Muse
Former CNN Anchor

 

“Reading about these shared experiences and looking at these beautiful faces from around the world brings an incredible feeling of connection to our fellow human beings."

Book Corner

 

“The book is a treasure to behold. The full color photographs, appealing page design, and the sincerity of the children that contributed to the project make this a worthy purchase. Share this volume with anyone who works with or cares for children."

Highlands Regional Library

 

“Bravo to the Milestones Project on your beautiful book! Such delicious, engaging photographs – such exquisite presentation – I am honored to be among the circle of voices. You are doing important work."

Naomi Shihab Nye

 

What a wonderful tribute to children all over the world! This book is full of lovely quotes from children from all over the world as well as touching, insightful and wonderous photographs. The collection of authors, illustrators and child advocates assembled to contribute to this is as eclectic and creative as this book and the contributions of Milestone moments will warm your heart! This is a MUST for school libraries as we strive together to teach children to see what is similar and not what is different in one another. My favorite quote in the book is: “I don’t have a best friend, all my friends are good.? Yoni, age 10, Guatemala. Use this in a classroom to teach tolerance and enjoy seeing other faces from around the globe and more importantly perhaps, use this book at bedtime to teach yourself and your child to embrace you MILESTONES MOMENTS!

Amazon.com
Reviewer: MOOTS (Denver, CO)
July 25, 2004

 

The Milestones Project is a beautiful and buoyant little book about the world of childhood filled with great pictures of children and discussions of favorite toys, lost teeth, scary haircuts, the first day of school and all those hallmarks of being little. Great for those who are small now and those who used to be. With its intense focus on those little early joys, it’ll take you back to being a kid.

Amazon.com
August 15, 2004

 

Must have for parents and teachers! Finally a book that discusses the need to stop hatred and build tolerance. What a beautiful display of powerful images. My children will enjoy reading this book over and over again. The family pledge is a valuable tool and can be adapted to my classroom. Fresh and wonderful, makes a great gift.

Barnes & Noble
A reviewer, parent, teacher and volunteer
August 17, 2004

 

“The Milestones Project: Celebrating Childhood Around the World? is a photographic tribute to the childhood experiences that make us more alike than different. Inspired by The Milestones Project, a living, growing archive of more than 23,000 photographs of children, the book pairs vivid images of daily life with original writings from dozens of internationally known children’s authors, illustrators, and advocates. Photographs by Dr. Richard Steckel and Michele Steckle. Some interesting entries: J.K. Rowling writes about her first pair of glasses; Mark Teague reminisces about his first (bad) haircut; and Eric Carle recalls his first day of school – twice! With its inspirational words and pictures, this book will help to grow good-hearted people, one child at a time.

San Diego Family Magazine
December 2004

 

Every once in a while, I see a book that captures the imagination, that shows readers both new and exciting possibilities, while also reminding us of what is most important. The Milestones Project is one of those books. Conceived by husband-and-wife team Richard and Michele Steckel, the book and the project are attempts to show children that people from all over the world are more alike than different. That realization will help to bring about world peace, the authors say. To that end, the authors are compiling an archive – currently 23,000 strong – of pictures of children from around the world doing everyday things. The book represents the best of their efforts, depicting young ones with their pets, their gap-toothed smiles and their new glasses. Children’s authors and illustrators from around the world chime in with stories about momentous events: Eric Carle reminisces about the first day of school, Mark Teague recalls a bad haircut, and J.K. Rowling remembers the glory of seeing clearly in new glasses, as well as the humiliation of being called “four eyes? the very next day. This is a powerful book, not just for promoting worldwide understanding, but for helping children process the intimidation, bullying and intolerance that occurs in their schools and communities. Inspiring quotes pepper the introduction, such as this one from Gracious, 9 who lives in South Africa: “I need a year to stop hatred. First, at my own country. After, I try by going to each country and hear their problems and why they hat another people. I can stop hatred by communication.? My only reservation about the book is that I wish there were photos from places such as Iran, Israel, Palestine and Sudan, where violence because of intolerance is rampant.

The Grand Rapids Press
Sue Stauffacher
October 16, 2004

 

“The Milestones Project: Celebrating Childhood Around the World? (Tricycle Press) is a photographic tribute to the childhood experiences that make us more alike than different. The book is inspired by the Milestones Project, a living, growing archive of more than 23,000 photographs of children. The pages pair vivid images of daily life with original writings from dozens of internationally known children’s authors, illustrators, and advocates. Like the enterprise for which it is named, “The Milestones Project? seeks to replace “us? and “them? with empathy and understanding. With its inspirational words and pictures, this book will help to grow good-hearted people, one child at a time.

Treasure Valley Family Magazine
November 2004

 

“The authors have accumulated photographs for the Milestones Project that “share a sense of awe in those moments when a child is engaged in an experience common to children everywhere.? Milestones such as losing a first tooth, starting school, birthdays, haircuts, responsibilities, and so on are documented with stunning images of children from all corners of the globe, along with their observations. “When I lost my first tooth, I swallowed it at school during lunch. – Stephanie, age 9, New Zealand.? “I don’t like the doctor. Everything is always cold. David, age , USA.? “I don’t have a best friend, all of my friends are good. Yori, age 10, Guatemala.? Short comments by famous individuals, mostly children’s authors, are artfully interspersed throughout the pages.

James Howe remembers his first day of school: “…I don’t remember how I got to school that first morning, but I do remember clinging tearfully to my mother’s legs…. I just wanted to go home with my mother where I’d feel safe.? The book has a clean design, with blocks of color and text and brilliantly animated photographs. This is a volume to share with younger children and to be enjoyed by many ages.

Lee Bock – School Library Journal
Glenbrook Elementary School, Pulaski, WI
November 2004

 

The first book is “The Milestones Project: Celebrating Childhood Around the World? (Tricycle Press, 2004). In the words of the authors, Richard and Michele Steckel, the Milestones Project is “a comprehensive effort to document childhood experiences in places far and wide. We aim to create a more peaceful world by encouraging the recognition that, beneath our beliefs or skin color, we are all the same; we are a single people, striving for joy and meaning in an unpredictable world.? The book which is the result of their project is a visual feast with heartwarming photographs of children around the world taking part in the every day experiences that children have. Photographs include those of children celebrating a birthday, getting a haircut, taking care of a pet, shouldering responsibilities, going to school and other experiences that children all over the globe share. Not only photographs are between the covers, however. There are original pieces of writing both by children, themselves, and by the authors and illustrators of books for children and young adults. Each of the photographs and each of the pieces of writing celebrate life and show readers how much alike they all are. What better way to help children learn to understand others than by showing them others who feel, think, laugh, love and cry just as they do. This is a wonderful book for parents and children to share together, talking about the children and experiences portrayed and then talking about their own experiences.

Chronicle
October 21, 2004

 

For more info on the Milestones Project book and how to purchase a copy click here.

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