Over the course of three years, photographer Gabriele Galimberti traveled the globe, asking children to pose with their favorite toys. Despite the striking differences in culture and wealth of his diminutive subjects, the portraits in his new book, Toy Stories, capture the simple, universal pride of children showing off their playthings—offering readers a momentary escape back to childhood.
Each photo, of course, has a backstory.
“I ended up in a small village in Northern Zambia where there was nothing,” Galimberti writes. “No water, no electricity, 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.”
In Nopaltepec, Mexico, he met four-year-old Abel, whose home is close to a road where large trucks would pass by en route to a nearby sugar plantation. When asked to display his favorite toys, Abel chose 13 trucks. See these photos and more below.