How Did I Get Here?
Written and illustrated by Philip Bunting
Reviewed by Lucy McGinley
If your child is asking big questions such as, ‘How did I get here?’ then Philip Bunting’s book of the same name, is what you need. This humorous picture book goes a long way to answering all sorts of questions in simple language that a child can relate to.
I was reading the book and Mr-nearly-12 came and snuggled up to me. I read it out aloud to him. “Good,” he said with a confident nod of his head. When I asked him to elaborate he said ‘Explains it so little kids (and big) will understand. And it’s funny. I like the pictures and the speech bubbles.’
I also liked how Bunting placed the ‘big bang’ and the following millions of years in a succinct time line. Particles forming things like planets suddenly formed understanding in my mind. The imagery of earth gradually cooling until the conditions were just right for the scientific magic of life to begin, was enlightening.
So why did the author choose to go off the rails and tell us that ‘Somewhere inside your mum’s tummy, day by day, you began to become you.’ * I note that he has qualified it slightly by saying, somewhere inside. Children know that when we eat, the food goes into our tummy. This was the perfect opportunity to dispel the slightly scary image of food and babies in tummies, jumbled up together. Womb is such a lovely word. It would have worked so well. Especially as this book is bound to inspire lots of questions.
Wombs aside, that takes us to the last page which has a lot of opportunity for hilarious falling about with laughter and stretching your imagination. So, if you feel like me, put a sticker over ‘tummy’ and enjoy the magic of what Bunting does so well. Turn the heavy science of evolution into a light, humorous and memorable children’s picture book to be enjoyed by all ages.
Omnibus Books 2018 Picture Book Hardback $24.99 ISBN 9781742769684