We go way back by Idan Ben-Barak and Philip Bunting

cover image

Beginning just with a small bubble, a single cell, life on earth has evolved to the infinite variety we are part of today. From that cell all animals evolved, each a little bit different. But before all this happened, Ben-Barak and Bunting take the reader back into the mists of time when our world was just water and rocks. Nobody knows what really happened but molecules appeared and these became cells which led to us and all the world around us. A breathtaking distillation is presented here for younger readers.

Barak and Bunting’s book is a wonderful read, with bright informative illustrations augmented by a brief nutty text. It answers huge questions giving a brief overview of how we got here, but leaving room for a myriad of questions and seeking out of information by the readers.

The cell which occupies many pages leads the reader through the task at hand: pondering how we got here.

There are many astonishing illustrations which will dazzle and delight readers of all ages: the double page family tree will evoke questions, the images of the planet are sure to excite readers, and the spectacular page which opens out to reveal our interconnectedness, will intrigue and inform everyone who looks closely at its variety.

This multi layered book about life on earth, will gain many thrilled admirers, keen on developing some understanding of how we got here and where we are from. And the final endpaper reminds me of the Monty Python song about how infinitesimal we are (the Galaxy Song), as the Earth is depicted as a small dot in a myriad of stars in the sky.

Themes: Space, life on Earth, Evolution, Cells, Humour.

Fran Knight