My Little World, by Julia Cooke

Each time that we went walking,
My gran and Jack and me,
They saw many birds and animals
That I just couldn’t see

A young child goes walking with Gran and friend Jack, through the bush on a regular outing. The child often misses things because of his/her size, but then discovers that even from their lowly vantage point there is much to see. So begins a world of discovery as mini-beasts appear everywhere. Now the tables are turned, as the child begins to share their finds with Gran and Jack. Each opening celebrates some aspect of this ‘little world’ whether it be the fragility or the wonder. The story is told in gentle rhyme. Author notes give names and information for some of the plants and animals featured throughout. Illustrations show accurate depictions of plants and animals, large and small. Coloured plants and animals are set on a cream background, ‘un-camouflaging’ them.

The small nature lover will be fascinated by the insects and spiders featured here. The junior botanist will recognise familiar plants and be introduced to new ones. The child, initially feeling left out because he/she’s not tall enough to see or quick enough to catch the glimpse of animals Gran and Jack see, discovers a whole other world. Now, he/she is ahead of the game, spotting things that the adults are too slow or stiff to be able to see. The joy of discovery is returned to the walk. The adults are supportive in helping identify unfamiliar creatures and celebrating each find. Recommended for pre- and early-schoolers.

My Little World, Julia Cooke Marjorie Crosbie-Fairall
Omnibus Books 2011
ISBN: 9781861917903

review by Claire Saxby, Children’s Author