Review Blog

Mar 08 2016

Near, far by Silvia Borando

cover image

Walker Books, 2016. ISBN 9781406363180
(Ages: 3-7) Wordless, Perspective, Near and Far, Animals, Imagination. This is an English translation of a 2013 Italian publication and part of the Minibombo series (little book buzzing with a big idea). The website www.minibombo.com has information, activities and games related to the books that could be used or adapted for the classroom. The big idea in this book is perspective. We see bits of an animal from close up: two green mounds. Children might start guessing now what it is they are seeing, (grassy hills or the ears of a frog?), then we get another view zoomed out a little more and we see many spiky ridges. Then it zooms right out and we see that it is a crocodile and we were looking at the spiky ridges of its back. Children will love trying to guess which animal is being shown before they see it in its entirety and it will encourage and stimulate imagination. It will also be a challenge for many children to work out which zoomed in part of the animal was being shown. One of the concepts of the minibombo books is using simple shapes to create animals and the books in the series use the same animals (a lot of the animals in this title are the same as in Now You See Me, Now You Don't).
While the book may have limited scope and children might not want to go back for repeated readings, it is a useful concept book for teachers working on perspective and near/far. It could be used as a starting point for perspective activities and artwork and to kick start discussions about how different people can see different things when looking at the same thing.
Nicole Nelson

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