Review Blog

Oct 17 2018

How did I get here? by Philip Bunting

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Omnibus, 2018. ISBN 9781742769684
(Age: 5+) Highly recommended. Themes; Life, Evolution, Big bang, Universe, Solar system, STEM. Young readers will find this straightforward presentation of life on earth enlightening and informative, as Bunting explains how life began, encouraging them to question as they read of these big issues. I found it riveting, from the Big Bang to the development of sea creatures and then animals as a fish came up on the land, leading to humans. It is told in such a matter of fact way that young readers will be able to understand the basics of how life life began, making it more personal with the story leading to their birth and life on earth.
Questions bigger than our solar system are presented in a way that is very readable, while at the same time, posing questions that require further research.
The Big Bang and other evolutionary ideas are so big they can overwhelm, but this seemingly simplistic explanation will satisfy those looking for the words to explain the idea but intrigue them enough to ask questions and seek out more answers.
Bunting is an avid believer in dialogic reading, which means that reading should be interactive. The more interactive, playful and entertaining the better the book is for young readers. An explanation of his ideas behind what he writes can be found here and is well worth a read.
He goes on to say that good books, those that encourage interaction, particularly within a family setting, will increase a child's love of books and reading and so a love of learning. Good picture books will do this, and so he aims to write picture books that will be read with carers and parents, an interaction with positive outcomes. Consequently How did I get here? is produced to encourage interaction between the carer and the child, begging them to ask questions, to discuss, to talk about what they are reading.
Fran Knight

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