Tuesday, February 2, 2016

To Be A Child by Debra Schoenberger (Review & Giveaway)

A documentary of children at play from 10 different countries. Beautiful, joyous, and thought-provoking. A book that will make you smile.

To Be a Child by Debra Schoenberger
Genre: Documentary / Photography
Publisher: Blurb Publishing
Release date: November 30, 2015
eBook, 240 pages
Content Rating: G

Book Description:

Give a child a cardboard box and his imagination will turn it into anything but!

Today, it is less common to see children playing in the streets, especially in urban areas. The plethora of ready-made toys should make any child happy. What usually happens is that the box the toy came in becomes the toy!

This book documents children at play (and at times at work) from 10 different countries. A child's ingenuity never ceases to amaze me and I hope you will share these images with your children as well. 

My Review
Reviewed by Laura Fabiani

A picture paints a thousand words. How true! Photographer Debra Schoenberger has travelled to 10 different countries to capture children at play. I love the subject matter of this documentary. Just look at that book cover.  Two little girls with dirt-smudged faces and radiant joy emitting from their smiles as they share a fun moment when playing together. How precious. These types of photos really pulls at my heartstrings as a mom.

Schoenberger took four years to complete this project of mostly street photography that captures children playing with other children and using their imagination. She divides her book by themes and features several Asian countries, such as India, Mongolia and Nepal. The photos are in black and white and in color. She captures children alone, with other children interacting or exploring. The children vary in age from very young to teen years. Sometimes they are among a throng of adults and the camera focuses on them and what has got their attention.

She captures moments in time, snippets of special events or outings with parents or just a simple, but wondrous moment of discovery. Some photos tell a story and others are more of a snapshot. I would have loved to have had a little backstory to some of the pictures. Not all, but some I truly wondered about. If it was chosen out of the thousands of photos Schoenberger took, then it had meaning for her as a photographer.

If you like photography books and especially those with children or family themes, this one is sure to please. One can pour over the pictures and wonder at the moment it was taken and at the lives of these children from many parts of the world where technology does not dictate play time.

Disclosure: Thanks to the author for sending me this book for review. I was not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.

To read more reviews, please visit  Debra Schoenberger's page on iRead Book Tours.

Buy the book: 

Meet the author / photographer: 

Debra Schoenberger aka #girl with camera

"My dad always carried a camera under the seat of his car and was constantly taking pictures. I think that his example, together with pouring over National Geographic magazines as a child fuelled my curiosity for the world around me.

I am a documentary photographer and street photography is my passion. Some of my images have been chosen by National Geographic as editor's favourites and are on display in the National Geographic museum in Washington, DC. I also have an off-kilter sense of humour so I'm always looking for the unusual. Plus I usually have a lot of scars on my knees.
​(le sigh...)

I live with my creative director, Miss Pickles (my budgie) in Victoria, BC, Canada.

Connect with the author: Website  ~   Twitter  ~   Facebook  ~   Goodreads
Connect with the photographer's website: Website

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  1. The picture at the top makes me smile so I bet the rest of the book would too.

  2. This book would be a treasure. My favorite photographer is my husband who takes photos which look like a professional since he is patient and wants the best.

  3. I love the work of Abelardo Morell, Especially his black and white photography.

    1. Hi Heidi,

      I am somewhat familiar with his work. His style is very unique and his work with the camera obscura is really cool. I wouldn't mind trying this type of photography one day.

  4. Thanks so much for your review Laura - I really appreciate it! :D Debra

  5. This does look like a heartwarming book. I always like to expose my kids to kids from other cultures that live such different lifestyles. Thanks for highlighting.

  6. The diversity of the children in this book is what attracts me - it would be heartwarming to see children at play all over the world. My favorite photographer is Vivian Maier. Such an interesting woman, and such a strange story. We know so little about her.

    1. You've got me all curious about Vivian Maier. Thanks for stopping by!

    2. Yes Linda, I agree. Vivian Maier is one of my favourite street photographers. Her sense of timing and and cheeky sense of humour really draw you into her images. Here is a link to her website:


Thank you for commenting! I appreciate your feedback.

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