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Small World
Cover of Small World
Small World
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When Nanda is born, the whole of her world is the circle of her mother's arms. But as she grows, the world grows too. It expands outward—from her family, to her friends, to the city, to the...
When Nanda is born, the whole of her world is the circle of her mother's arms. But as she grows, the world grows too. It expands outward—from her family, to her friends, to the city, to the...
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Description-

  • When Nanda is born, the whole of her world is the circle of her mother's arms. But as she grows, the world grows too. It expands outward—from her family, to her friends, to the city, to the countryside. And as it expands, so does Nanda's wonder in the underlying shapes and structures patterning it: cogs and wheels, fractals in snowflakes. Eventually, Nanda's studies lead her to become an astronaut and see the small, round shape of Earth far away. A geometric meditation on wonder, Small World is a modern classic that expresses our big and small place in the vast universe.

About the Author-

  • Jen Corace is the illustrator of many books for children, including Little Pea. She has a BFA in illustration from Rhode Island School of Design, and she lives and works in Providence, Rhode Island.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    April 15, 2019
    Newcomer Mercurio tells the story of Nanda, a brown-skinned girl who grows up to be an astronaut. When she’s a baby, Nanda’s world is small, no larger than “the circle of her mother’s arms.” As she grows, her world does, too, starting from the tight-knit “circle of her loving family” and spreading outward (to “a sway of branches... scaffolds of steel”) until it encompasses the whole planet. Serene images by Corace (Telephone) appear in slightly skewed, nontraditional perspective, conferring a folk-art sensibility to the spreads. As Nanda grows more interested in flight, she’s seen working a “human-powered helicopter,” then piloting an airplane over a tapestry of fields and water. An astronaut at last, she wears a spacesuit among “a sea of stars,” the Earth visible in the distance—it’s “a circle called home.” Lyrical writing (“the microscopic elegance of fractals in the snow”) and graceful illustrations together convey the idea that learning opens up a whole world. Mercurio does more than nudge kids in the direction of STEAM fields; she celebrates the beauty of discovery and the elegance of flight. Ages 4–8. Author’s agent: Laura Biagi, Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency. Illustrator’s agent: Steven Malk, Writers House.

  • Kirkus

    May 1, 2019
    A young girl discovers her world as she grows up. Little Nanda's world begins in her mother's arms when she is a small baby. As she grows, her world expands too. From friends and family to new places and new discoveries, Nanda pushes the limits of her world as much as possible--until one day, she realizes her world is the same as it was when she was a baby in her mother's arms: "safe, warm, small." Rich, imaginative text paints a beautiful picture of Nanda's life and generously weaves in figurative language ("It soared through a symphony of glass and stone. / It spooled through spirals of wire and foam"). It is also refreshing to see Nanda depicted as a strong South Asian girl protagonist who blends in and yet stands out. Unfortunately, some of the text and the broader underlying concept of the book--which takes her through college and beyond to a career as an astronaut--may be hard to grasp for the target preschool audience. Corace's illustrations, created using gouache, ink, and acrylic, effortlessly show Nanda's curiosity and the diverse world we all live in today. Attention to detail and authenticity in the illustrations is evident on each page. A thought-provoking and evocative book that may unfortunately fail to pique the interest of its target audience but may also provide a fresh substitute for Oh, the Places You'll Go come graduation season. (author's note) (Picture book. 4-8)

    COPYRIGHT(2019) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    Starred review from July 1, 2019

    PreS-Gr 1-A young girl fascinated by the world around her grows up and journeys to outer space. When Nanda is born her entire world is contained within the circle of her mother's arms, "safe, and warm, and small." As she grows, her curiosity and wonder grow in proportion to the world around her. She learns more and grows bigger and bigger. Her exploration eventually takes her far away from her home all the way into outer space, where she can look back and see her home planet, "safe, and warm, and small." The text joyfully describes both the appearance and makeup of the world around Nanda with alliterative and detailed language, such as, "pinecone-prickled mountains" and "cables and cogs and odds and sods." The gouache, ink, and pencil illustrations are filled with multitudes of fractal and geometric patterns both large and small. Nanda and her family have brown skin and the background in the story is filled with an abundance of diverse characters. A brief author's note on the final page gives insight into the author's inspiration for the story and invites readers to consider where they might want to go, and what they want to their world to look like when they grow up. VERDICT This beautiful story reassures young readers of their place in the world and encourages them to remain full of wonder and curiosity as they grow. A first purchase.-Laken Hottle, Providence Community Library

    Copyright 2019 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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