My World is Not Like Yours by Hanan Baker

My World is Not Like Yours

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An illustrated children’s book that aims to open up young readers’ eyes to the larger world they live in.

It’s natural for children to think that they’re the center of the universe. This book’s rhyming verse and illustrations, however, offer children a wider view, imagining what the world looks like from a range of different perspectives. Starting with the sun, the book moves on to show the points of view of an apple tree, a lion, a dolphin, a bird, a human heart, an ant, and a water molecule, finally ending where the audience began—with the perspective of a human child. Each portion begins with the phrase, “My world is not like yours,” except for the last; the human child says, “My world is like yours,” providing a sense of conclusion and familiarity. Rhyming poetry follows each opening line, illustrating what makes the subject’s world different. For example, the sun says, “I explode and burn all day and night / I am almost five billion years old, that’s right”; the water molecule proclaims “From all sides I am surrounded / I move so fast you can’t even count it.” The final line in each case reveals who’s speaking, with text spread across two pages of bright, colorful illustration. The book ends by urging readers to imagine “something big or small / And picture how it sees us all.” In this debut, Baker cleverly uses a guessing-game structure and accessible language to engage children by stoking their curiosity. For such a short book, there’s a good variety of scale, different kinds of life, and imaginable worlds. However, the verse format sometimes limits careful distinctions; for example, the bird says, “When I travel, my friends come too,” even though not all birds exhibit flocking behavior. Some other concepts are under-explained, such as what exactly a molecule or a solar system is, but this book may still be a good starting place for more conversation and exploration.

A work with an appealing concept, but younger readers may need adult input for better comprehension.

Pub Date: Dec. 19th, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-5055-5316-1
Page count: 42pp
Publisher: CreateSpace
Program: Kirkus Indie
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