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...

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Title:Small World
Author:Ishta Mercurio
Rating:

Small World Reviews

  • Michelle (FabBookReviews)

    Children's author Ishta Mercurio (

    ) and

    illustrator Jen Corace join together to bring readers the wondrous and beautiful picture book

    . A poetic look at one young girl's changing perspective and relationship to the natural world as she grows up,

    takes readers on an adventure that begins in the comforting hold of a mother's arms and ends with an awe-inspiring gaze at our world.

    Children's author Ishta Mercurio (

    ) and

    illustrator Jen Corace join together to bring readers the wondrous and beautiful picture book

    . A poetic look at one young girl's changing perspective and relationship to the natural world as she grows up,

    takes readers on an adventure that begins in the comforting hold of a mother's arms and ends with an awe-inspiring gaze at our world.

    When the story's protagonist, Nanda, is born, her world is the circumference of her mother's arms, but as she grows, so too does her world and her view of her world. The "circle of her mother's arms" grows to her include family, schoolmates, a playground, a college...to Nanda growing up mesmerized by shapes, mechanisms, and last, but absolutely not least, aeronautics and SPACE! Through every big change Nanda goes through as she grows up, readers get to see Nanda's changing viewpoints, as well as the ever-present and incredible geometry of shapes in the world. Jen Corace's illustrations are measured, precise and yes, absolutely stunning: they draw the reader and/or listener's eye in and delight with how much there is to see: geometric shapes, lines, colours, patterns. I often speak to the 'match' between an author and illustrator, and how the perfect click between the two works to showcases everyone's talents: for

    , Mercurio's gloriously poetic and thoughtful, lyrical words (balanced with a gentle, repetitive refrain) are perfectly captured and illuminated by Corace's pencil, ink and gouache full-colour pictures.

    Overall, what a marvelous picture book!

    is reflective and wondrous, powerful in text as well as illustration. A

    ,

    not only speaks to the joy of seeing and experiencing more and more STEAM-related books (and ones with female led characters!), but is also simply a delightful, rousing kind of read that may beg for closer looks, for further investigations, and, possibly, lead to big and small questions about the world.

  • Monique Fields

    Ishta shows us how a child's world expands as she grows older. The lyrical prose makes for a fun read as Nanda literally grows up on the book's pages. This one will surely inspire children to take risks and see the world.

  • 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!

  • Kim Chaffee

    This story is one that you will be happy to read over and over when your child asks you to again and again. Mercurio’s charming, lyrical text partnered with Corace’s stunning art, make this STEM-themed story about Nanda and her growing world one you won’t want to miss.

  • Olivia

    See my full review here:

    SMALL WORLD is a gorgeous celebration of growing up and following your dreams. When Nanda was born, her world was very small. As she got bigger and older, her world continues to grow, including more people and ideas. When she grows up, she goes to the moon, and now the Earth seems small. With beautiful, geometric illustrations and an ultimate message of achieving your dreams, this is a lovely and lyrical book that celebrates

    See my full review here:

    SMALL WORLD is a gorgeous celebration of growing up and following your dreams. When Nanda was born, her world was very small. As she got bigger and older, her world continues to grow, including more people and ideas. When she grows up, she goes to the moon, and now the Earth seems small. With beautiful, geometric illustrations and an ultimate message of achieving your dreams, this is a lovely and lyrical book that celebrates science.

    What I loved: The writing in the book has a beautiful flow and rhythm, akin to THE WONDERFUL THINGS YOU WILL BE, and tells a magnificent story. I love how Nanda is female (and non-white) and follows her interest in science throughout her life. The illustrations are elegant and detailed, including things like posters of other female astronauts in Nanda's room. All of this combines into a truly beautiful story.

    Final verdict: Great for young children of all ages and easily enjoyable by adult readers too, SMALL WORLD is a gorgeous portrayal of following your dreams. In the context of growing experience, Nanda's world keeps expanding and the reader can watch her grow, learn, and reach her goals. Elegant, lyrical, and seemingly magical, this is a fantastic read for children of all ages.

  • 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)

    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

    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.

  • Deborah

    Lyrically conveys the lovely idea that a world can be small and large at the same time.

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