Sunday, July 25, 2021

Wonder Walkers & If You Come to Earth: Inspiring a sense of wonder about our world (ages 4-8)

Are you looking to inspire a sense of wonder about the world around us, tapping into children's innate sense of wonder? Two new picture books lead to wonderful musings about our world: Wonder Walkers, by Micha Archer, and If You Come to Earth, by Sophie Blackall. Both of these let you get away from your everyday world, and look with fresh eyes on everything around us.

Wonder Walkers
by Micha Archer
Nancy Paulsen Books/ Penguin Random House, 2021
Amazon / Your local library
ages 4-8

As two children head outside for a "wonder walk," they ask each other questions about the world around them, making connections to their own experiences. Together, readers will ponder with this pair questions such as: “Is the sun the world’s light bulb?” “Are trees the sky’s legs?” “Is dirt the world’s skin?” “Is the wind the world breathing?” Revel in the vibrant illustrations, and maybe venture out on your own wonder walk. 

"Do mountains have bones? Are forests the mountain's fur?"

I especially appreciate Archer's spare poetic language, letting readers (young and old) sit with these deep questions. This will make a lovely bedtime book, to end the day wondering about the world around us. Teachers can also use it as a springboard for exploring the power of personification, analogies and other literary devices. But really, it just makes me want take a walk with a young person and see what they notice in our world.

If You Come to Earth
by Sophie Blackall
Chronicle Books, 2021
Amazon / Your local library
ages 4-8

"If you come to Earth, there are a few things you need to know..." and so begins the young narrator's musings about how to describe our world to an alien from outer space. And yet, how do we really describe our whole world to someone? How do we capture all the different places in it, all the different ways people live and what they do every day? Quinn, the young narrator, writes of the great diversity of life on Earth. I especially love the detail in each page -- you'll spend time exploring faces full of expression, families of all shapes and sizes picnicking together, of children in class together and adults getting ready for work. 

"We live in all kinds of homes."

Blackall truly celebrates the diversity in our world, making each reader feel part of this special book. Spend time looking closely at all the different homes people make for themselves. Talk gently about what it means not to have a home. Blackall doesn't ignore difficult things in our world, but gently acknowledges that they are part of life too. 

I hope you enjoy spending time with these wonder-inspiring picture books. The review copies came from my public library. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases if you make a purchase using the Amazon links on this site. 

©2021 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books 

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