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Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth

Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth

Oliver Jeffers
ISBN: 9780008266165

Subtitled Notes for living on Planet Earth, Oliver Jeffers has written a loving and lovely book for his baby son. It is a sort of non-fiction about Earth, but as it is Oliver Jeffers it is hardly ordinary. With his trade mark gorgeous illustrations and interesting information, written in labels across the page as well as the main text, this is the sort of book children will treasure and enjoy for many years.

I tried this out on my four-year-old and she was entranced. The pictures of all the different people who live on Earth were her favourites and she spent some time looking and discussing the many characters on the page. The drawings include The Queen, a diver, religious people from a diverse range of religions and cultures, and they all show the same sense of humour that makes all Jeffers' illustrations so special.

In many ways this simple book is very sophisticated, with jokes for sleep-deprived parents and other humorous asides. It also has a serious message about looking after the world and some well-chosen quotes at the end, including one from astronaut Sally Ride. Yet it is also simple enough to be enjoyed by very young children; the pictures are so rich in detail and colour that it draws you in to the page and encourages questions and conversation.

It might be quite interesting to look at this book and compare it to a standard non-fiction text; but to be perfectly honest, the best use for this book is to enjoy it, linger over the pages and rejoice in the gorgeous illustrations of our amazing home planet.

Picture book / Ages 3+ / Reviewed by Jacqueline Harris, education consultant.


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