'Toy Stories' shows kids with their favorite toys

Story highlights

  • "Toy Stories" features kids from around the world with their favorite toys
  • Photographer Gabriele Galimberti visited more than 50 countries for the project
  • The book will be released on March 25 by publisher Abrams Image
Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens are swell and all, but boys and girls from around the world have vastly different interpretations of their "favorite things," according to a new book by Italian photographer Gabriele Galimberti.
Galimberti visited more than 50 countries to document children with their most prized playthings for "Toy Stories: Photos of Children from Around the World and Their Favorite Things," which will be released on March 25.
The photos prompt readers to reflect on the abundance of possessions that some children enjoy while others live a comparatively pared down existence because of poverty or their cultural values.
"The fewer toys a child had, the less possessive he or she was about them," notes London-based writer Ben Machell in the book's introduction. "Galimberti describes having to spend several hours winning the trust of Western children before they would consent to let him touch their planes, cars, or dolls. 'In poorer countries, they don't care as much. They play in a different way, running around, sharing one ball between them all.' "
Not only are the toys reflective of the children's socioeconomic class but also their parents' aspirations.
"Hopes and ambitions are passed down through the toys parents choose for their children. Children from families boasting musicians invariably receive toy instruments," Machell writes, also noting that a cab driver's son had a fleet of toy cars.
Galimberti recently chatted with CNN via e-mail about "Toy Stories." The interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.
CNN: Where did you get the idea for the project?
Gabriele Galimberti: I started this project almost by chance. The first photo I took of this series was in Tuscany (Alessia, the girl with the cows in the background). She's the daughter of one of my best friends; that friend asked me to photograph her child.
[When] I went to their house, and she was playing with the cows, I thought that situation was really nice and I decided to take the photo of her there with the cows and her toys. I really loved the result of that photo, and some months later when I was starting my trip around the world, I decided to take the same kind of photo in every country that I was going to visit.
I had the opportun