Small World

Small World

When Nanda is born, the whole of her world is the circle of her mother’s arms. But as she grows, the world grows too. It expands outward—from her family, to her friends, to the city, to the countryside. And as it expands, so does Nanda’s wonder in the underlying shapes and structures patterning it: cogs and wheels, fractals in snowflakes. Eventually, Nanda’s studies lead h...

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Title:Small World
Author:Ishta Mercurio
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Small World Reviews

  • Allie

    Genuinely my new favorite picture book. The text is so lyrical, and hits just the right repetitive notes to be soothing but not annoying. I love the gentle journey Nanda goes through her entire life, and the illustrations fit really perfectly. I will definitely be looking for an opportunity to read this during story time and give it as a gift!

  • Ben Truong

    is a children's picture book written by Ishta Mercurio and illustrated by Jen Corace, which tells the story of Nanda, a little girl, who grows up to be an astronaut.

    Mercurio's text is rather simplistic and straightforward. It chronicles the life of Nanda, from a infant where her world was as large as her mother's arm to when she becomes an astronaut and sees just how small the Earth can be. Corace's illustrations are serene and slightly skewed, nontraditional perspective, conferring

    is a children's picture book written by Ishta Mercurio and illustrated by Jen Corace, which tells the story of Nanda, a little girl, who grows up to be an astronaut.

    Mercurio's text is rather simplistic and straightforward. It chronicles the life of Nanda, from a infant where her world was as large as her mother's arm to when she becomes an astronaut and sees just how small the Earth can be. Corace's illustrations are serene and slightly skewed, nontraditional perspective, conferring a folk-art sensibility to the spreads.

    The premise of the book is rather straightforward. When she's a baby, Nanda's world is small, no larger than the circle of her mother’s arms. As she grows, her world does, too, starting from the tight-knit circle of her loving family and spreading outward until it encompasses the whole planet.

    All in all,

    is a wonderful children's book about how our perspective of the world changed from an infant, child, adolescent, and adulthood through the wonderful perspective of a wonderful character.

  • Tasha

    Nanda was born into the circle of her mother’s loving arms. As she grew, her world grew too. It grew to include more circles, branches in trees, blocks, steel, and cogs. Her world got bigger as she traveled to college where she built her own helicopter and then became a pilot. Her world continued to grow as she roared into the atmosphere aboard a space shuttle. She was bigger than she had ever been before when she stood on the moon’s surface and looked at the stars above her and Earth glowing in

    Nanda was born into the circle of her mother’s loving arms. As she grew, her world grew too. It grew to include more circles, branches in trees, blocks, steel, and cogs. Her world got bigger as she traveled to college where she built her own helicopter and then became a pilot. Her world continued to grow as she roared into the atmosphere aboard a space shuttle. She was bigger than she had ever been before when she stood on the moon’s surface and looked at the stars above her and Earth glowing in the sky.

    Mercurio’s prose plays with perspective right from the first pages. She also includes shapes and components of engineering into Nanda’s childhood. A girl fascinated with science and engineering becomes an astronaut in this book that offers an inspiring look at a girl who grows up as her world grows around her.

    The illustrations play with shapes on every page, from the patterns of trees and their branches to the quilt below plane wings made up of farmland. Even the stars above form circles at the end of the book along with Earth, guiding readers right back to the circle that the book started with.

    An inspiring look at a young girl of Indian descent who reaches the stars. Appropriate for ages 3-5.

  • Jennifer

    The story is simple and the pictures fit it perfectly, but this one just didn't grab me. I think by being a picture book, the format misses its target audience. Obviously, it's meant to showcase the geometry and beauty of nature and the sky. It's meant to show the girl dreaming of bigger and bigger things and eventually working hard and achieving bigger and bigger things. However, the picture book format puts it squarely in the hands of younger children (mostly the preK and even younger crowd) a

    The story is simple and the pictures fit it perfectly, but this one just didn't grab me. I think by being a picture book, the format misses its target audience. Obviously, it's meant to showcase the geometry and beauty of nature and the sky. It's meant to show the girl dreaming of bigger and bigger things and eventually working hard and achieving bigger and bigger things. However, the picture book format puts it squarely in the hands of younger children (mostly the preK and even younger crowd) and the message of this book just isn't obvious enough for them to grasp. This might work as a read aloud to a young elementary school group, but it's too much for my preschoolers and not enough for my independent readers. If you can find a way to make it work in your story times, though, please let me know how because I love the pictures and the message!

  • Abigail

    When Nanda is small, her world is as well, encompassed by her mother's cradling arms. As she grows, so too does her world, her horizons expanding as her knowledge and experience do. Growing up, going to college, eventually becoming an astronaut, she eventually sees the world as small again. When viewed from space, that is...

    A lovely book, one which explores the individual's relationship to their world, and their changing perceptions of that world as they grow,

    pairs a poetic text fro

    When Nanda is small, her world is as well, encompassed by her mother's cradling arms. As she grows, so too does her world, her horizons expanding as her knowledge and experience do. Growing up, going to college, eventually becoming an astronaut, she eventually sees the world as small again. When viewed from space, that is...

    A lovely book, one which explores the individual's relationship to their world, and their changing perceptions of that world as they grow,

    pairs a poetic text from first-time author Ishta Mercurio with gorgeous artwork from illustrator Amy Corace, who has also worked on such titles as Amy Krouse Rosenthal's

    . I appreciated the author's afterword here, which speaks of the inspiration she took from a photograph of some Indian women scientists, and I appreciated the positive message about dreaming big. Recommended to anyone looking for children's stories about growing up and making one's dreams a reality, or about a person's relationship to the wider world.

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