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Small World

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  428 ratings  ·  75 reviews
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 h ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published July 2nd 2019 by Abrams Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 4.04  · 
Rating details
 ·  428 ratings  ·  75 reviews

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Genuinely my new favorite picture book. The text is so lyrical, and hits just the right repetitive notes to be soothing but not annoying. I love the gentle journey Nanda goes through her entire life, and the illustrations fit really perfectly. I will definitely be looking for an opportunity to read this during story time and give it as a gift!
Monique Fields
Aug 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Ishta shows us how a child's world expands as she grows older. The lyrical prose makes for a fun read as Nanda literally grows up on the book's pages. This one will surely inspire children to take risks and see the world. ...more
Jul 03, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Readers Looking for Children's Stories About a Person's Changing Relationship to the World
When Nanda is small, her world is as well, encompassed by her mother's cradling arms. As she grows, so too does her world, her horizons expanding as her knowledge and experience do. Growing up, going to college, eventually becoming an astronaut, she eventually sees the world as small again. When viewed from space, that is...

A lovely book, one which explores the individual's relationship to their world, and their changing perceptions of that world as they grow, Small World pairs a poetic text fro
Debbie Ohi
Jan 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful and lyrical writing, stunning illustrations ; be sure to check beneath the book's dust jacket for more gorgeous art! Encourages young readers (and not-so-young readers) to always be curious about the world around them. I *love* that the little girl grows up to be an astronaut! ...more
Ben Truong
Jul 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Small World is a children's picture book written by Ishta Mercurio and illustrated by Jen Corace, which tells the story of Nanda, a little girl, who grows up to be an astronaut.

Mercurio's text is rather simplistic and straightforward. It chronicles the life of Nanda, from a infant where her world was as large as her mother's arm to when she becomes an astronaut and sees just how small the Earth can be. Corace's illustrations are serene and slightly skewed, nontraditional perspective, conferring
Aug 02, 2019 added it
Shelves: picturebooks
Lyrically conveys the lovely idea that a world can be small and large at the same time.
The story is simple and the pictures fit it perfectly, but this one just didn't grab me. I think by being a picture book, the format misses its target audience. Obviously, it's meant to showcase the geometry and beauty of nature and the sky. It's meant to show the girl dreaming of bigger and bigger things and eventually working hard and achieving bigger and bigger things. However, the picture book format puts it squarely in the hands of younger children (mostly the preK and even younger crowd) a ...more
Kim Chaffee
Jul 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This story is one that you will be happy to read over and over when your child asks you to again and again. Mercurio’s charming, lyrical text partnered with Corace’s stunning art, make this STEM-themed story about Nanda and her growing world one you won’t want to miss.
Michelle (FabBookReviews)
Aug 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs-or-gifted

Children's author Ishta Mercurio (Bite Into Bloodsuckers) and I Hatched illustrator Jen Corace join together to bring readers the wondrous and beautiful picture book Small World. A poetic look at one young girl's changing perspective and relationship to the natural world as she grows up, Small World takes readers on an adventure that begins in the comforting hold of a mother's arms and ends with an awe-inspiring gaze at our world.

Nanda got bigger and bigger. But as she grew, the world grew, t
Aug 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: yabc-reviews
See my full review here:

SMALL WORLD is a gorgeous celebration of growing up and following your dreams. When Nanda was born, her world was very small. As she got bigger and older, her world continues to grow, including more people and ideas. When she grows up, she goes to the moon, and now the Earth seems small. With beautiful, geometric illustrations and an ultimate message of achieving your dreams, this is a lovely and lyrical book that celebrates scienc
Jul 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Nanda was born into the circle of her mother’s loving arms. As she grew, her world grew too. It grew to include more circles, branches in trees, blocks, steel, and cogs. Her world got bigger as she traveled to college where she built her own helicopter and then became a pilot. Her world continued to grow as she roared into the atmosphere aboard a space shuttle. She was bigger than she had ever been before when she stood on the moon’s surface and looked at the stars above her and Earth glowing in ...more
Laurie Hnatiuk
Jul 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture
A delightful book that will empower young readers to see that perspective, wonder and creativity play an important role in our lives. Nanda is small when she is born and we learn how small her world is from being just her mother and then extending out to her family. As Nanda grows so does her world that includes not only family and friends but how manmade objects and nature can define a way to see the world both small and big. And Nanda sees the possibilities of what these materials and structur ...more
Aug 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When Nanda is born her world is the cozy embrace of her mother, but as she grows her world increases in complexity until she sees earth as an adult from space. This picture book is a delicately woven story that symbolizes that our own personal world can be both big and small depending on how you look at it.

Mercurio’s text is lyrical and yet simple enough to capture the attention of a preschool audience, but complex enough to spark great discussion in school age children. Corace’s gouache, ink a
Krissy Neddo
Jul 18, 2019 rated it liked it
I really liked it, but again it's a picture book that speaks to adults and readers older than its format. Possibly an end of fifth grade read/gift to encourage the graduates to keep reaching for bigger and better. I hurriedly finished it the first time I read it, hoping the back pages would reference the prose to a real person. While I appreciate the author's notes and the artwork, not sure this will be a good fit for my library. Definitely a public library borrow if my fifth grade teachers ask ...more
Young readers will enjoy considering being both big and small at the same time. When Nanda is born, her world is a small as she, a little baby in her mother's arms. But as Nanda grows, so does the world around her, and so does her ability to see and appreciate all of the patterns around her. Eventually she becomes an astronaut and goes into outer space, where she gets to see how small the world looks from way up there. Gorgeous illustrations along with lyrical text make this a great book to shar ...more
Nov 26, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s-book
The illustrations in this book and the choice of patterns are absolutely stunning, but the writing unfortunately ruins the full experience. The story is trying to be serious, evocative, even poetic, but it fails at being accessible and understandable to kids. A lot of words are extremely challenging for kids, and the story is hard to follow. The book doesn't feel like it was written for kids.

Brooklyn Cribdon (The Wild Library)
I loved the story and the concept of this picturebook, but something about it just didn't capture me the way I expected it to. Perhaps it was the illustrations? Anyhow, a very sweet and inspiring book about a young girl named Nanda (which means Joy) who grows bigger and bigger, just like the world around her.... until she finds herself as an astronaut in the biggest environment she could imagine- outer space. ...more
Nov 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
“But as she grew, the world grew, too.”

From her mother’s arms, to her family circle, to her group of “giggling playmates,” Nanda’s sphere of safety and comfort continues to get bigger as Nanda grows older. Soon, her interests grow bigger as well until she is on rocket and then standing on “foreign soil” in space.

A poetic homage to growing up and reaching past your little circle of safety to discover new things, over and over and over.
Nov 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Small World is a beautiful and empowering picture book. Through it’s lovely pictures and lyrical language, this story follows a strong girl whose world starts small and grows with her as she achieves one amazing thing after another. This book is one that everyone should have on their bookshelves to remind readers and listeners that our world is all about perspective and that we can do anything we set our minds to.
Stephanie Bange
Jan 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A wonder-filled book!

As Nanda grows older, her perspective of her world grows bigger and broader. Mercurio has painted images with words, using descriptive phrases full of shapes and objects.

Illustrations by Jen Corace were created with gouache, ink and pencil on Rives BFK. They are bright and light, oftentimes whimsical, and carry through with geometric shapes.

Recommended for grades 3-6.
Alyssa Gudenburr
A beautiful book about dreams, space, and perspectives. Starts from small world in your mother's arms all the way to space. Then looking back on the Earth, the girl realizes her "big" world is actually small compared to the universe. This would make a great one-on-one story to encourage little girls to dream big. ...more
Feb 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Preschool -middle elementary grades
Shelves: wnmdb, wish-list, makers
As a girl grows and discovers more--by observation, by books, by education--her dreams and her world expands. Eventually, she becomes an astronaut. Observing earth from space, our planet seems small. The text is almost poetic, and the illustrations match the dreamy tone. Recommended for social studies tie-in with community and careers, and to illustrate point of view.
Jul 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
We loved how the world gets bigger and complex in this book and how you see the main character grow. My kid would ask questions about growing up and going to college or having a job and we would picture different futures for him and reinforcing it is about following your dreams and working hard for them.
Tompkins County Public Library Youth Services
This beautiful book encourages young readers to explore the big world as they grow. However, what impresses me the most is the feeling of nostalgia at the end of the book: no matter how far you are away from home and how big your world becomes, home is always the place you cherish and look back to, “safe, and warm, and small.”
Amanda Sincavage
Sep 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
So much to love in this beautiful book: gorgeous and rich illustrations, lyricism, STEM concepts, perception of big vs small, growing up, chasing dreams, and (for parents) recognizing the need to let go so our children can explore their ever-changing and growing world - a great gift book! And a beautiful integration of text and art!
Nov 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: diverse
Nanda depicts a female in STEM which in it of itself is so empowering to see in a picture book. She flies a plane and is an astronaut but it comes from following passion. When we grow up we see the world broaden on front of our eyes and I think this book teaches an amazing lesson to kids that there is so much opportunities out there.
Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy)
I liked this book so much. My only criticism (which isn't a real criticism) is that I wanted this to be a biography, a story that was at least based on a real person. I really appreciated the author's note as well. ...more
Jul 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
I love the expanding scope and perspective of this book about how we can be both big and small at the sane time. Great female modeling inclusive of diverse cultures, and filled with interesting geometric and mathematical models.
Aug 25, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
Readers see how their worlds expand as they grow up. The world begins as our mother's arms and expands to include the whole universe as we figure out our path in life.
Beautiful illustrations show Mercurio's message.
Sep 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
In this poetic journey, a girl grows up and her world expands until she is both "bigger than she had ever been before" and a tiny speck in the star-filled universe. A glorious, unexpected circular story. ...more
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Small World / Jen Corace 1 6 Sep 10, 2019 01:23PM  

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