We Go Way Back
A&U Children’s, 2021
36pp., hbk., RRP $A24.99
Sooner or later a young child will ask, “Where did I come from?” and this will be the perfect book to have on hand. But it is not the “birds and the bees” talk that might be expected, but rather an attempt to simplify the scientific explanation for life on earth, starting with the big bang theory.
Using a mix of clever illustrations, well-chosen language and layout, the reader is taken on a journey that asks what is life and then travels back in time to the first elements found in the seas which joined together to form molecules and how things evolved from there culminating in a triple-page spread of life on Earth. But then the final endpages put it all in perspective!
Ben-Barak, who has degrees in microbiology and in the history and philosophy of science as well as one in library sciences, has a knack of using his knowledge to simplify science for children in a way that intrigues them and captures their imagination – Argh! There’s a Skeleton Inside You and Do Not Lick This Book – while Bunting had several books listed in the CBCA 2021 Picture Book of the Year Notables making this a powerful combination to introduce this tricky topic to young readers.