Almost exactly a year ago, we showed you an eye-opening series that featured kids around the world with their most prized possession, their toys. Photographer Gabriele Galimberti has now traveled three years and visited dozens of countries to capture young kids in their homes and neighborhoods surrounded by what they play with each and every day. The new book, called Toy Stories, contains 54 fascinating portraits that will make you think more than just about your own childhood but about the different set of circumstances each child is surrounded with as he or she grows up.
Ben Machell, feature writer for The Times of London, wrote the introduction to the book. He describes it this way, “These toys, Galimberti began to realize, said as much about the mothers and fathers as they did about the children themselves. ‘I learned more about being a parent than I did about being a child from this whole process,’ he says. Hopes and ambitions are passed down through the toys parents choose for their children. Children from families boasting musicians invariably receive toy instruments…”
He goes on, “However, this dynamic only applies to countries where parents could pick and choose which toys their children could have. In areas of poverty, the difference was striking. ‘I ended up in a small village in northern Zambia where there was nothing. No electricity, no water, and, of course, no toy shops. But the children had found a box of sunglasses-I think it fell off a truck-and the glasses became their favorite toys. Actually, their only toys. They would play ‘market,’ buying and selling the glasses to each other, sharing everything between them.'”
Mikkel, 3 – Bergen, Norway
Julius, 3 – Lausanne, Switzerland
Tyra, 3 – Stockholm, Sweden
Niko, 5 – Homer, Alaska
Enea, 3 – Boulder, Colorado
Naya, 3 – Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica
Lauren, 6 – Muskoka, Canada.
Shotaro, 5 – Tokyo, Japan
Taha, 4 – Beirut, Lebanon
Pavel, 5 – Kiev, Ukraine
Chiwa, 4 – Mchinji, Malawai
Photos: Gabriele Galimberti/INSTITUTE