Reviews

How to Build Your Own Country | Written by Valarie Wyatt & Illustrated by Fred Rix

How to Build Your Own Country is a humorous book that teaches children about politics and governance in language that they can easily understand. It is written as a step-by-step manual on how to literally build a country. It gives children a few facts from real life countries and states, and helps them understand the intricacies of governance.

The children learn how to build their country in three different steps. The first is ‘Stake your identity’, where the children learn about things ranging from naming countries, finding a population, designing a flag, a motto and writing a national anthem. ‘Running a country’ is the second where they learn about setting up governments, elections, making money and holidays. The third is ‘Meet the neighbours’, where they learn about keeping peace and joining clubs like the UN.

The book has sections for the children to fill in as they read along, creating their own make-believe country. They pick a name, flag, motto and national anthem (in the tune of old Mac’ Donald had a farm). The book explores stories of bad leaders, fake laws, issues on taxation and generally all the work it takes to run a country. It is such a useful teaching tool when educating children about the important aspects of their country. Issues like democracy and fair governance are well explained and highlighted as important, with in-depth examples of real life countries.

The book has great examples of micro nations, which encourage the children to believe that they too can be leaders and rule their own micro nations. It also enables them to understand what is happening in the world, as they can put things they hear about in context. It is a great starter pack for equipping children with knowledge on governance and running a country.

It’s a great read because it is light and funny but still informative and educative. It breaks down what can be an intimidating topic for both parents and children and allows children to understand it in a practical and relatable way.

This book is suitable for older, more experienced readers from 8 to 13.

It’s books like this that we dive into every first Saturday of the Month! Have you heard of our children’s book-club, The Fireplace: Tot Tales?

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