Where Children Sleep


See the rooms of children around the world.

Lately I’ve noticed my kids straying from their children’s books to my photo book collection. I love using photo books as a way to open up a child’s world, allowing them to imagine things and places outside their reality. One book in heavy rotation is Where Children Sleep by James Mollison. The left side of each photo spread includes portrait of a child against a seamless backdrop with text describing the child’s circumstances; the right side, a large image of that child’s room. The children have been selected from around the world and live in a wide variety of circumstances.

My kids are particularly fascinated with the the images of children whose lives are most different from theirs, the children who live in great poverty or great wealth. The book is a discussion catalyst about how other people actually exist day-to-day. My kids have imagined themselves waking up in those rooms, playing with those toys, and feeling the things those kids feel. This morning my six-year-old woke up and wondered what one of the children was eating for breakfast, and had the thought that maybe he didn’t get to eat breakfast. “How can we help him?” he asked. “Do you think we could send him one of my toys? I think we would be friends.”

Find Where Children Sleep at your local library.