Wednesday 29 December 2021

The World Awaits

The World Awaits by Tomos Roberts, illustrated by Nomoco (HarperCollins) HB RRP $24.99 ISBN: 9780008502058

Reviewed by Dannielle Viera

When a little boy refuses to get out of bed in the morning, his older brother decides to let him in on a big secret – each person has the potential to change the world, thanks to the positivity within them. ‘All the things that make life special … lose a touch of magic when your goodness goes to waste.’ Even the smallest action – such as patting a cat – adds plusses to the world. The little boy discovers that when we all contribute, ‘global goodness grows with each good word and each good deed’.

A spoken word poet, Tomos Roberts brings a unique performance quality to his dynamic rhyming text. His profound message about the power of kindness may have gone over the head of his young audience, if not for the clever use of simple plus and minus symbols to illustrate his point. Rather than being prescriptive and didactic, Tomos’s heartening words inspire children to try their best to make the world a little better each and every day.

Japanese artist Nomoco sends a rainbow of colours streaking across the spreads. Caressing the text with great care, her cheerful inked images are both fun and fluid. Young eyes will see immediately the impact of positivity on the world – where there are too many minuses, the spreads are dark and gloomy; where plusses dance across the pages, the hues are bright and happy.

The World Awaits is a breath of fresh air at a time when stress, anxiety and negativity are at an all-time high. It will gently guide young readers to a place of strength and optimism, where benevolence begets joy.

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