Bruno Gilbert. Tonbridge, Kent: What on Earth Books, hb. 978 1 9129 2030 3, 2020, £12.99, 56pp.
Non-fiction, illustrated book, translation, 7+ years
The two newest titles in the Zeki series are simple, small delights that invite readers into the life of one much-loved little boy.
There is huge scope for what to include and the mixture of subjects is key to the book’s appeal, as can be seen in the subtitle of the English translation above. It is truly global in its view and very exciting. All sources are cited at the end for further research.
The statistical facts are thought-provoking and sometimes shocking – for example 20,000 plastic bottles are produced but only 1,600 are recycled, or 485 trees are cut down and 158 replanted, reflecting the clear concern to explore environmental issues which underpins the book. Each item will prompt discussion and further thought. The book will appeal to all ages and all kinds of interest, beyond the mathematical. The facts are dramatic and show the world we live in in a new way, inviting comparison and understanding so that we engage with lifestyles and world activities in a deeper way.
Some entries are double-page images and some juxtapose information on the facing pages, leading to comparison and further thought. All are illustrated in an appealing matt graphic style which is very contemporary. Another great book from this famous French writer / illustrator.
Review by Pam Dix