Most helpful positive review
35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
It may be Spier's best
on April 10, 2006
Without moralizing or mawkishness, Spier here portrays something of the amazing variety of human life on Earth. He points out that "we come in many colors," with different-looking features; that we dress in different ways, enjoy different things, have different personalities, live in different homes, speak (and write) different languages (including a wonderful double-page spread showing samples of 40 separate writing systems!), keep different pets, celebrate different holidays and worship in different ways; that "some of us excel at things others could never do," that "there are more different ways of [earning a living] than you would believe." Yet, he quietly observes, "without a single exception, we all began quite small...and in the end we all must die." Though he never uses the phrase "the brotherhood of man," he manages to get across that, in the most important ways, we are all alike--and, at the same time, he celebrates our diversity ("Imagine how dreadfully dull this world of ours would be if everybody would look, think, eat, dress, and act the same!"). He never exalts one way of life over another, but fills his pages with his trademark detailed, action-filled color sketches and gives each of his examples its moment in the sun. This is a book that not only the youngest kids, but teens coping with the Herd Instinct should read, and that adults can enjoy for its tone and beautiful artwork. Every home and library should own a copy of it. May it never go out of print!