Meanwhile Back on Earth
It is easy to plod along and not ponder how small we are both in space and time, Meanwhile Back on Earth takes us on a journey through both space AND time - in a family car.
The moon "is a quarter of a million miles away so it will take almost a year to drive there", and as we keep driving we witness the conflicts that have shaped our world, the 1800s where countries were racing to divide up land, to Vikings building boats looking for more people to fight, and 5,000 years ago when people discovered metal and animals made fighting "much more effective".
If this all seems a bit dark and heavy, it is, but it highlights cycles of human conflict and demonstrates how petty this conflict is in the vast chasm of time and space. Readers will be able to reflect on the events featured and make connections of their own place in time and space.
Whimsical and colourful illustrations are depicted from a variety of perspectives. My favourite is a double page spread, it is as if the reader themselves is driving the car in the middle of space! I love the contrast of the split time pages, where scenes are depicted on earth and in space thousands of years ago, in stark contrast to one another.
A book that will get readers thinking, and with every page turned illustrations that take you on a journey through space and time.
Title: Meanwhile Back on Earth
Author: Oliver Jeffers
Illustrator: Oliver Jeffers
Publisher: Harper Collins
RRP: (recommended retail price)$30
Date of Publication: October 2022
Ages: (Age range or level that the book is suitable for)5+
Themes: Connection, conflict
Would this book work as a read aloud? Yes
Is there a particular part of the country that it's set in? No
Reviewer: Louana McCormack, Librarian, Opaheke School, Auckland
How are you recommending this book? Highly recommended
What is the book's opening sentence?
In all of the cosmos...this one place in our solar system...is where all of the people have lived...for the whole time we've been people.
You can buy this book here.