Here We Are: Notes For Living on Planet Earth

Inspired by the birth of his son, Jeffers’s gentle text channels the voice of a parent trying to introduce a newborn to the infinite complexity of life on planet Earth.

Through a series of heartfelt notes and vibrant spreads, the child is guided through space, time, sky, land, sea, people, anatomy, and animals. Yet, Jeffers’s narrative voice remains humble, admitting the limits of human knowledge, as well as his own. Additionally, the child is encouraged to ask questions and figure things out for themselves. Thus, Here We Are does not seek to impart facts, but rather values, encouraging the reader to embrace the diversity of life and the wonders of the world. And, of course, as usual, Jeffers interjects plenty of humour!

Jeffers’s visuals play with form, borrowing from both picturebooks and illustrated non-fiction. The dazzling spreads are composed of a mixture of landscapes, diagrams, catalogues, and family scenes, while the typography combines formal font with Jeffers’s signature handwritten scrawl. Using mixed media and a limited colour palette dominated by luminous purples and blues, Jeffers powerfully juxtaposes moments of human intimacy with scenes of natural beauty and cosmic awe. Additionally, his characters are as colourful and whimsical as ever, helping to really underscore the wonderful diversity of life. Difficult to classify, Here We Are seems best suited to new parents trying to make sense of the world for their little ones. Ultimately, this poignant work aims to inspire the next generation to be kind, tolerant, and globally conscious.

About the Author/Illustrator
Headshot of Oliver Jeffers
Oliver Jeffers is a highly acclaimed talent in picture books. He graduated from The University of Ulster in 2001 with First Class honours and has since exhibited his paintings around the world. His outstanding talent has already been recognised by several high-profile awards, including the Nestlé Children's Book Prize Gold Award, the Blue Peter Book of the Year Award and the Irish Children's Book
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Book Cover - Here We Are: Notes For Living on Planet Earth
Author/Illustrator
Reviewer
Publication Date
September 2021
Format
Hardback
Pages
48
ISBN
9780008266165