Children ask questions all the time. Some of those questions are easier for parents and teachers to answer than others and some may even be ones that adults are searching for answers to themselves. This beautiful picture book is a lyrical look at life’s biggest questions that will gently reassure while at the same time encouraging children to celebrate the joy of life. An appropriate book for the world we find ourselves in at the moment.
Your body was made from the STUFF of the STARS,
You’re a CHILD of GALAXIES dreaming…
This poignant picture book takes the reader on a journey through the world of ideas and looks at the deeper meaning of the everyday things that we may often take for granted. It begins with a broad look at the universe and earth’s place in it and the opening pages are a celebration of life and the infinite world of possibilities that lie in wait for young children. We are then reminded that as we progress on life’s journey there may be worries and anxiety about what the future may hold for us but the poetic text then reassures us that we are a small part of a big world that has continued for millions of years. There is a comfort in the joy of the every day; sunshine, rain, the seasons, and the love of friendship. Positivity and hope shine through the remainder of this thoughtful book.
I imagine that when Blake Nato and Charlotte Ager created this gentle introduction to philosophy for young children they had no idea how events across the world would add even more to the impact of this picture book. The reminder of the crowded city streets bustling with people “heading nowhere at all, on a life giving ball” feels like a life left behind us now. The double page spread of the two children reaching out to each other has for me, and for many others I imagine, an added poignancy as we are separated from our families and loved ones due to social distancing at present. The two small figures nestled on outstretched hands, looking rather like flying carpets journeying through the adventure of life, and the accompanying text are both touching and reassuring. A reminder of the importance of connecting with others.
The lyrical text lends itself to being read aloud and this is a book to be shared and pondered over. Charlotte Ager’s illustrations have a fresh look and their style conveys the emotions described in the text beautifully. The change in tone and colour when we touch on the worry and uncertainty encountered match the mood well and add to the feelings experienced by the reader. Likewise the joy experienced in the special but everyday moments is apparent and the double page spread of sunflowers is delightful. The pictures show a range of diverse and inclusive characters adding to the broad appeal. Both the text and the illustrations could have many interpretations and although described as a book for aged 3+ I envisage this being used with much older children to prompt thoughtful discussion. Each time I return to this book I notice more.
A lovely book full of hope and optimism for all ages that will comfort, reassure and inspire. Thank you to Flying Eye Books for sending me my copy.
Although slightly different in theme Here We Are – Notes for Living on Planet Earth by Oliver Jeffers is another beautiful picture book encouraging the reader to celebrate the world we live in that you may like to have a look at.