What an amazing achievement this book is for the author and illustrator. We Go Way Back is a superb attempt to explain the beginnings of life on earth. Using the format of a hard back picture book children have access to ideas and science at a level they can comprehend.
The story begins with you! You are alive, but what does that mean? Well, a chicken has life, but a car does not. If you are alive, you can make more things like you, but slightly different. You got life from your parents who, in turn, got life from their parents. Looking right back in time to when the world was new, there were volcanoes, oceans and rivers, lightning and meteors. “And then something happened!”
To relate the beginning of early life in a manner which children can understand, takes an incredibly special skill. The language used in this explanation is factual and introduces molecules and elements and the role they play in beginning life. The large colourful dynamic illustrations enhance the text, and add to the descriptions. The minimal text, combined with the powerful pictures, ensures a level of understanding. Many of the double page spreads have a black background. There is a fold out page near the end of the story which depicts animals from the beginning of time to the present day.
The back inside cover of We Go Way Back is also black with many stars, planets and moons. There is also a tiny Earth with an arrow pointing to it saying, “All of us.” The concepts and ideas which this book presents are remarkable and it should be on every Library shelf.
|Author||Idan Ben-Barak, illustrated by Philip Bunting|