Meanwhile Back on Earth…

Publisher: Harper Collins

Our planet is really quite small and yet for thousands of years, humans have fought over land and borders. In this stunning picture book, a father tries to prove this point to his children by taking them on a breath-taking car ride into outer space. On a short tour of the universe, the father invites the children - and the reader - to look back at the Earth at particular points in world history.  

It would be a seventy-eight-year drive from Earth to Venus. Meanwhile, back on Earth seventy-eight years ago, it was the middle of the twentieth century and the world was at war. With each stop, the car rides further into the solar system and invites us to look back further in time. At every point in history, humans are fighting each other – even at the end of the last Ice Age!

In his beautiful and distinctive illustrations, Oliver Jeffers manages to capture both the huge scale of our universe as well as the smaller, tender moments between families that fit within this. There’s a lovely metaphor about how the sibling’s squabbling in the back of the car compares to fights over territory on Earth. A thoughtful and clever story that will get adults thinking as much as children.

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