The Blurb On The Back:
Have you ever thought about how special our world is?
This book will help you understand our planet by giving you the everyday words to talk about taking care of the world and each other.
BIG WORDS FOR LITTLE PEOPLE: OUR WORLD was released in the United Kingdom on 6th January 2022. Thanks to the Amazon Vine Programme for the review copy of this book.
You can order BIG WORDS FOR LITTLE PEOPLE: OUR WORLD by Helen Mortimer and Cristina Trapanese from Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Waterstone’s or Bookshop.org UK. I earn commission on any purchases made through these links.
The Review (Cut For Spoilers):
Helen Mortimer and Cristina Trapanese’s picture book is part of a series aimed at providing young readers with vocabulary to talk about a series of different issues. It’s clearly well intentioned and Trapanese’s illustrations are fun and engaging but the text itself lacks focus, trying to cover too much and relying heavily on slogans and puts across ideas without explanations such that I’m not convinced young readers will fully understand.
I like the idea of a picture book series introducing young readers to different words and ideas on specific topics but it’s noticeable that while other books in this series focus on narrow topics like kindness, doing your best, respect and learning, this one takes on the big topic of the world we live in. Personally, I think that’s simply too broad for the picture book format as there’s too much ground to cover and not enough for young readers to actually focus on.
Mortimer makes a game attempt but the ideas are all over the place from the marvel of the natural worlds to environmental issues like saving energy and recycling and then what having a home means. There’s also a heavy reliance on slogans (even save the whale makes an appearance and I haven’t heard that one in 20 years). On the plus side, Trapanese’s illustrations are fun and I think young readers will relate to them and there’s good representation on show here.
Ultimately I just didn’t think this book was focused enough to make it either an entertaining or an informative read for the target audience, but that would not put me off checking out other books in the series as I suspect the narrower topics would make them more satisfying.