Reviews /

Where in the World Are You?

Authored by Marie G. Rohde
Illustrated by Marie G. Rohde
Published by What on Earth Publishing Ltd

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The cat is under the wobbly table, but just where is the world is this?

This picture books gradually zooms out more and more until you finally see that the cat is part of a much bigger universe than you first think. As you read the book you gradually find out about the flat that the cat lives in, which is part of a house, in a street, within a busy neighbourhood, in a crowded city, in a big country… As the place of the cat in the wider world is revealed it is a chance to look carefully at the illustrations and find out more about the wider world. At the end, the focus returns to the cat and the book feels very cyclical.

This book builds on the game that children often play when they try to write their address and add the country, continent and then the world, perhaps even the universe. The use of white space in the layout and colours within the text give opportunities to explore each picture and to identify people, places and the stories behind the simple captions. For example, the busy neighbourhood page could be used to talk about shops, compare and contrast with the child’s own locality or the families shown in the pictures. This book supports diversity as part of the story, showing lots of different sorts of families and children going about their usual routines. I enjoyed looking at the pictures and trying to spot the cat in all of them. At the back of the book the author explains how they were inspired to write the story during the Covid-19 lockdown in Spain in 2020, when they used storytelling as a way to zoom out and see the world that they were prevented from actually visiting.

I would recommend this book to add to the classroom collection, as a sharing book to send home and part of a topic around buildings, community, my world or even space. It is a really good way of introducing the vastness of the world and also colours and families.