SMITH, David J.




Author Tags: Education, History, Kidlit & Young Adult, Natural History, Non-Fiction

David J. Smith is a full-time educational consultant in informational technologies, geography and global issues. His work with educators, parents and student groups throughout the world has helped him develop the idea that numbers, proportions and relationships are easier to grasp when they were pared down to an understandable size.

His book, If the World Were a Village: A Book about the World’s People (Kids Can Press 2011) down-sized world population to a village of 100 people, with each person representing 62 million individuals. In Smith’s world village, “there are 38 school-aged villagers — but of the 38 only 31 of them attend school and only 24 of them have enough food to eat.”

Smith’s “world-minded” approach to life continues in his latest book, If: A Mind-Bending New Way of Looking at Big Ideas and Numbers (Kids Can Press $19.95). If takes the massive scope of geological and human history and scales it down, comparing the big ideas and numbers to things we can see, feel and touch. Planets become the size of balls — Earth is a baseball, Saturn is a beach ball. All the money in the world downsizes to a pile of 100 coins divided among the continents — North America has 32, Africa, 3. Smith believes re-scaling massive ideas to understandable concepts helps us realize we are each only a small part of a much bigger society, world and Universe.

Smith, born in Boston, Massachusetts, now makes his home in North Vancouver, British Columbia.

BOOKS:

If America Were a Village: A Book about the People of the United States (Kids Can Press 2009) $18.95 978-1554533442
Mapping the World by Heart (FableVision Learning 2010) $69.95 978-1891405655
If the World Were a Village: A Book about the World’s People (Kids Can Press 2002; 2nd edition 2011) $19.95 978-1550747799
This Child, Every Child: A Book about the World’s Children (Kids Can Press 2011) $19.95 978-1554534661
If: A Mind-Bending New Way of Looking at Big Ideas and Numbers (Kids Can Press 2014) $19.95 978-1894786348

[BCBW 2014]