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We Go Way Back

By Idan Ben-Barak
Illustrated by Philip Bunting
Reviewed by Mia Macrossan

Idan Ben-Barak is the author of Do Not Lick This Book and actually has a PhD in the history and philosophy of science. Philip Bunting is author and illustrator of many books including Mopoke and How Did I Get Here.

We Go Way Back is an attempt to explain to the very young the scientific view of the origin of life no less. It is perfect for those parents who, when asked the question where do we come from, don’t want to talk about storks, gooseberry bushes or saving up lots of silver paper and the like.

Here is a simplified scientific explanation of the origin of life on the planet, starting with a clever discussion using Bunting’s quirky illustrations to talk about what life is, who has it and what hasn’t, and where we got it from. In other words it deals with the big questions of life, heredity and evolution and succeeds in making these concepts comprehensible to young minds.

We  see the earth when it was just rocks and water, no people, no animals, no plants and explore the various stages of single cell development until we get to the final spread which opens out to a remarkable tree of life as we know it today. Being a picture book it is a bit abbreviated of course, but I think it conveys the salient information clearly and in an amusing and interesting way.

We Go Way Back is both entertaining and informative and should be a boon to parents who are a bit hazy about all that science and teachers will also find it very useful.

Teacher’s Tips
Allen & Unwin 2021
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