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Toy Stories – Photographs of children and their toys from around the world
Toy Stories: Photos of Children from Around the World and Their Favorite Things
by Gabriele Galimberti
2014, 112 pages, 9 x 9 x 1
$18 Buy a copy on Amazon
The idea for this appealing collection of portraits started in Tuscany, Italy, when photographer Gabriele Galimberti was asked by his neighbors to photograph their daughter. He visited their farm and shot some photos of the girl in a barn with some of her favorite toys: a plastic wheelbarrow, shovel, and other miniature farming equipment. He loved the juxtaposition of the girl and her toys standing in front of a line of cows.
Around this time he was preparing to take a trip around the world, and decided to take photos of kids and their toys from every country he visited. Once he arrived in each city or village, he would ask locals that he met to introduce him to a child who would be interested in participating in his project.
After almost three years of visiting over 50 countries, Galimberti brings us Toy Stories. Some children come from affluent backgrounds and have many new toys, while others don’t have much at all – maybe only one cherished stuffed animal. According to the book’s introduction, three-year-old Maudy from Zambia didn’t have any “real” toys at all, but looks like the happiest kid in the book with her display of plastic sunglasses, which the children in her village found in a box that they think fell out of a truck. Maudy and her friends have fun making up games with the shades, such as setting them up in a make-believe shop.
The book is simple, displaying only photographs along with each child’s corresponding name, age, town or city, and country. (It also starts with an introduction that gives us an interesting backstory to the project as well as Galimberti’s insights into what he experienced). And yet the photographs as a collection make for a moving and mesmerizing book, showing the differences as well as the similarities of children from all walks of life. – Carla Sinclair
May 9, 2014
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