Small World
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.

Small World Details

TitleSmall World
Author
ReleaseJul 2nd, 2019
PublisherAbrams Books for Young Readers
Rating
GenreChildrens, Picture Books, Space, Science

Small World Review

  • Allie
    January 1, 1970
    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!
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  • Abigail
    January 1, 1970
    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 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 from first-time author Ishta Mercurio with gorgeous artwork from illustrator Amy Corace, who has also worked on such titles as Amy Krouse Rosenthal's Little Pea . I appreciated the author's afterword here, which speaks of the inspiration she took from a photograph of some Indian women scientists, and I appreciated the positive message about dreaming big. Recommended to anyone looking for children's stories about growing up and making one's dreams a reality, or about a person's relationship to the wider world.
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  • Ben Truong
    January 1, 1970
    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 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 a folk-art sensibility to the spreads.The premise of the book is rather straightforward. 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 until it encompasses the whole planet.All in all, Small World is a wonderful children's book about how our perspective of the world changed from an infant, child, adolescent, and adulthood through the wonderful perspective of a wonderful character.
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  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    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 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) and the message of this book just isn't obvious enough for them to grasp. This might work as a read aloud to a young elementary school group, but it's too much for my preschoolers and not enough for my independent readers. If you can find a way to make it work in your story times, though, please let me know how because I love the pictures and the message!
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  • Tasha
    January 1, 1970
    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 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 the sky.Mercurio’s prose plays with perspective right from the first pages. She also includes shapes and components of engineering into Nanda’s childhood. A girl fascinated with science and engineering becomes an astronaut in this book that offers an inspiring look at a girl who grows up as her world grows around her.The illustrations play with shapes on every page, from the patterns of trees and their branches to the quilt below plane wings made up of farmland. Even the stars above form circles at the end of the book along with Earth, guiding readers right back to the circle that the book started with.An inspiring look at a young girl of Indian descent who reaches the stars. Appropriate for ages 3-5.
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  • Laurie Hnatiuk
    January 1, 1970
    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 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 structures can be. We see how Nanda continues to expand her love of all things related to engineering and how she creates a career using her perspective of her growing world and the mindset that anything is possible. The author's nots is also worth reading and sharing explaining the meaning behind the story and Nanda's name. A great book to discuss mindset, structures, STEAM and STEM in a classroom.
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  • Krissy Neddo
    January 1, 1970
    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 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 for more end of the year reads to send off their elementary graduates.
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  • Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy)
    January 1, 1970
    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.
  • Bkrieth
    January 1, 1970
    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.
  • Kim Chaffee
    January 1, 1970
    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.
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  • Kara
    January 1, 1970
    Stunning.
  • Allan van der Heiden
    January 1, 1970
    Very shortSo short not worth the cost of the book but cute just too short the kids just get interested and it ends.
  • Carol Ekster
    January 1, 1970
    Gorgeous language. Beautiful book.
  • Mary
    January 1, 1970
    Really enjoyed the story and illustrations. Great read-aloud for 3-6 y/o about growing up and seeing the world.
  • Deborah
    January 1, 1970
    Lyrically conveys the lovely idea that a world can be small and large at the same time.
  • Heather
    January 1, 1970
    This is a beautiful picture book about expanding horizons.
  • Denise Menger
    January 1, 1970
    Growing up, ambitions, success, a positive environmentGood graduation gift
  • Earl
    January 1, 1970
    From the circle of her mother's arms when she was a baby to the other elaborate shapes found in nature that she observes as she gets older, Nanda's world becomes more expansive that she could have imagined. A wonderful meditation in where we fit in in the big scheme of things.
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  • Mary Lee
    January 1, 1970
    I wanted this book to be about a real person, with back matter to point out all the small moments of curiosity about nature, math, and engineering led to a career in space travel.Even without that back matter, this will be a good book for inferring that curiosity from the text and illustrations.I love how Nanda's world expands as she grows, until the point when the actual world/Earth is very small.
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