Reviews /

A World Full of Journeys and Migrations

Authored by Martin Howard
Illustrated by Christopher Corr
Published by Frances Lincoln Publishers Ltd

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A World Full of Journeys and Migrations: ‘Since the dawn of our existence, and the first journey from Africa, we humans have made journeys to every corner of our world.  We don’t just live in a world full of journeys – the world has been created by those journeys.’ This engaging and appealing book is the eighth in the A World Full Of series. In it, Martin Howard tells 50 stories, each presented in a double-paged spread. The introduction sets out why humans move, the first human journeys, and the impact on cultural aspects such as food and music. The main body of the book is organised through the world’s continents. Howard takes the reader by the hand to explore a rich variety of historical, geographical and cultural journeys and migrations. These include Roman Europe; the Windrush Generation; Chinatown areas of America; Europeans in Australia; the Nomads of Africa; divided South Africa; the Underground Railroad; the Silk Road; the story of Brick Lane to mention just a few. The final section of the book includes pages exploring animal migration, the spread of disease, and the possible migration of humans to Mars.

Martin Howard’s language is clear. Complex ideas are made accessible to the reader. Crucially, this is a book that invites the reader to question and investigate further. The text does not shy away from the darker elements of human movement such as the impact of colonialism on indigenous populations around the world. At times I did wonder why some aspects of history were not represented, the Holocaust for example, but the audience is always at the forefront of the author’s mind and this book leaves the young reader with a sense of hopefulness. Complex vocabulary is handled with care; straightforward explanations are included in the main body of the text, supporting understanding of the whole. One example reads, ‘A pandemic happens when a disease spreads around the whole world, and the flu outbreak of 1918 did exactly that.’ Words selected for the glossary are carefully chosen and the definitions are clear.

Christopher Corr’s artwork is vivid and eye-catching, representing the richness of life and our world, but the artwork does not detract from the information being shared. Pages are not overly complicated, and navigation is straightforward. Text boxes on each page provide interesting stories and further information. The book’s design is attractive.

A World Full of Journeys and Migrations would suit upper Key Stage 2 readers. It is a book to be shared and discussed, both in and out of school, and will give rise to many interesting conversations about our world. It might be used to support teaching in different curriculum areas, but it shouldn’t be seen as simply a teaching text. This interesting book deserves a place in both the school and classroom libraries, and it would make a great gift.