Small World

This is a book which celebrates ever-widening horizons, the spiralling possibilities of childhood and youth, the seemingly endless potential of growing up and learning more about what the world holds. The descriptions of a young girl Nanda’s journey from infancy to maturity, from the small circle of her mother’s arms to a future in which even the sky is not the limit, are colourful and bold. Nanda finds that as she grows the world grows with her, and that there is literally no end to the discoveries she can make, and the new places she can explore. Ishta Mercurio has captured the tones and textures of her character’s story in language which is sparkling, poetic, and inspiring. Phrases like ‘a bubble of giggling playmates’, and ‘pinecone-prickled mountains’ are mere samples of some of the linguistic delights which the book contains – all delivered without pretention or fanfare. The beauty of Mercurio’s words are stunningly complemented by Jen Corace’s illustrations which cleverly combine flourishes of vivid colour with geometric lines, subtly and powerfully reflecting Nanda’s personality and interests.

This is a sumptuous book in expression and illustration which conveys the vital message that children can reach high and travel far, that their ambitions and aspirations can be achieved through hard work and big dreams. It is a text which is bound to inspire young minds, and to help adults to share about the wide and wonderful world which awaits children as they grow into the world they have been given.