Tuesday 6 December 2022

Meanwhile Back on Earth

Meanwhile Back on Earth by Oliver Jeffers (HarperCollins) HB RRP $27.99 ISBN 9780008555450

Reviewed by Nikki M Heath

A treatise on our place in time and space in picture book form, this is another stunning instalment in Oliver Jeffers’ set of books that kicked off with Here We Are.

A dad takes his kids on a trip through the solar system, equating the time it would take to get to each landmark to what would have been happening that amount of time back in human history. So, in the time it takes the family to pass Venus, looking in humanity’s rear-view mirror takes us to WWII.

Accompanied by Jeffers’ trademark illustration style, this book puts a lot of things in perspective. It also shows, sadly, just how much fighting colours our shared past. Travel guides for life, this book and its siblings are must-haves.

That said, the purported audience of 5 years and up seems to be skewed a little young. There are big numbers and big concepts throughout this book, so it is probably best for readers aged 8 to 12.

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