Reviews, Media, Blogs

Interviews

  • An interview with Macca on Australia All Over about My Little World, scribbly gums, stick insects, banksias and more.
  • An interview with Louise Maher ABC 666 Canberra Drive and Julia about My Little World. Listen here.

Articles 

  • ‘Looking at nature with a child’s eye’ Canberra Times, Times2, 13 April 2011, by Karen Hardy. See here.
  • ‘Story Brought To Life’, The Chronicle, April 12 2011, by Naomi Fallon. See here.
  • ‘Children’s book opens up a whole new world’, Canberra Weekly, April 20 2011, by Allison Redman. See here.
  • ‘Natural history for little people’ April 2011 edition of Field Natters, the newsletter of the Field Naturalists’ Association of Canberra, by Paula Banks. See here.

Reviews

  • “This is a perfect and gorgeous book for children, but don’t make the mistake of letting them have all the fun with it. We can and should all learn from and revel in it, so do yourself a favour and spend plenty of time on it. Go through it and read Julia’s poetry out loud, then do it again and pore over the exquisite detail of Marjorie’s pictures – then do it all again to see what you’ve missed.” – Ian Fraser, Canberra naturalist, conservationist, broadcaster and author at the launch of My Little World at the Australian National Botanic Gardens on 9 April 2011.
  • “This is a book readers will feel compelled to hold gently in their hands.  Soft colours, fine pencils illustrations and delicate poetry combine to depict a world of tiny animals and plants.  The effect is breathtaking. […] The story is told in verse with a simple rhyming pattern that flows naturally. […] The illustrations (gouache and pencil on hot press watercolour paper) are detailed, harmonious and scientifically accurate. […] The author’s notes provide information on some of the plants and animals featured in the story, making this book botha  pleasure to read and pour-over but also to learn from. – Kylie Fornasier, Magpies, April 2011
  • “Sometimes, something really special comes along and this is one of those times. This is a lovely picture storybook for children as young as four years. The young child is too little to see all the things adults see when they go walking. But this book is about what the child can see the surprising, the shy, the shimmering, the adventurous, the amazing and the fragile. There are caterpillars, beetles, butterflies, stick insects and a myriad of other little creatures and plants that the child sees and the adult may miss. Presented as rhyming text, this is an easy book to read aloud. The beautiful illustrations are by a talented botanical artist and they blend wonderfully with the text. The creatures and plants are labelled and species notes are included at the conclusion of the book. This is a unique book for young and young at heart.” – Joan Steinman, Ballarat Courier, 2 May 2011
  • “This book isn’t so much about trees and forests but the animals and creatures that live within them. My Little World is set on Black Mountain in Canberra, a dry Eucalypt woodland. The story is told by a young child who is too small to see what her older brother and Gran can see on their walks. Instead, she notices the little things that many people might miss like “wavy feeler-things” or “antennae just like feathers”. It is jam-packed with rich text, information, and detailed illustrations. Suitable for ages 4+ (★★★★★)” – My Little Bookcase [here]
  • “This is a simply lovely picture book. It follows a grandmother and her two grandchildren on a walk through the bush. It is written in first person from the point of view of the youngest child–who often misses the bigger animals pointed out by Gran and Jack, such as kangaroos, wallabies and birds. From the perspective of this small child though, there are smaller creatures to see closer to the ground, things that Gran and Jack would have missed.The book is written in rhyming verse which flows quite well. It is made up of double page spreads devoted to one or two of the smaller inhabitants of the bush–plants, insects, spiders, snails, fungi etc. The illustrations of these inhabitants (and others) are labelled with their name, and are beautifully done. There are no illustrations of the human protagonists except for the title page and verso, but this enhances the book, as it creates the effect of looking through the eyes of the narrator. There are author’s notes at the end of the book which tells the reader about the setting of the story (Black Mountain in Canberra) and there are further facts about the inhabitants of the bushland, as well as suggestions for further reading. This book would be an excellent starting point for nature studies and bushwalks. Highly recommended, especially for Canberra schools.” – Rebecca Kemble, Reading Time, May 2011 [here]
  • “On a walk with his gran and friend, a little boy discovers he can see the tiny things his companions miss from their loftier perspectives.  Beautiful illustrations deliver a child’s eye view of the bush, featuring delicate lichens, furry brown spiders and scribbles on a eucalyptus tree.  The drawings and story shine light on everyday Australian insects and plants.  Short notes at the back of the book reveal more surprises” – Carmel Sparke, Disney’s Family Fun, Autumn, 2011
  • “Sssh, be very still. It helps if you are small (if tall, bend down quietly) – look closely and carefully and you will see a world of insects and plants that most people miss. For budding young naturalists, this book is a delightful introduction to Australian creatures and plants not normally featured in children’s nature books. The enchanting rhyme and exquisite illustrations invite children to explore the beauty and variety of their environment. The author’s notes offer more fascinating information and direct the reader back to find things they may have overlooked. For ages four and up.” – Alexa Dretzke, Readings Hawthorn [here] Readings Monthly, April 2011
  • “Marjorie Crosby-Fairall is an award-winning and highly respected illustrator. The works she has created for My Little World are so remarkably detailed and life-like that, as author Julia Cooke says, ‘I’m not sure people will want to close the book for fear of squashing something.’ Gum leaves so realistic that they can be picked off the page, ants that will crawl onto your finger if you put it too close, droplets of water that can be drunk from the leaves, skinks with bright, beady eyes that are ready to scamper to safety if you move the wrong way. Crosby-Fairall’s beautiful illustrations draw the reader beyond the text and into the living world that Cooke celebrates in her flowing, rhythmic text.  Unfortunately rhyming text for younger readers is back in vogue – an almost endless supply of it, it seems – but plant ecologist Julia Cooke has a good ear for language and her verses trip easily off the tongue in a smooth walking pace that carries the beat of the bushwalker’s feet. An excellent text to use with junior classes studying mini-beasts, My Little World is a treasure-trove for young environmentalists.” – NSW Association for Gifted and Talented Children [here]
  • “The book is truly a delight. The text is in verse, whimsical, inspiring and accessible. The illustrations are detailed and elegant, and, of course, technically accurate. I would have loved this book as a child. So many hidden creatures to find within, so much to awaken curiosity. So much to motivate an exploration of the garden or the local bush.  Heartily recommended!” – Margaret Morgan, My Growing Passion [here]
  • “Walking with her family, this child tries so hard to see all the things her grandmother and big brother can see. But she just can’t. The disappointment, however, soon turns to excitement when she realises that there are just as many things to discover at her height, and she revels in watching her own version of this interesting world. Complete with accurate illustrations of Australian plants and creatures, this story shows children that there are amazing things all around nature: high and low.” – Megan Blandford, Kids Books 101: Get Outdoors and Read!, Childhood 101 [here]
  • “My Little World is a beautiful book, with illustrations from award-winning illustrator Marjorie Crosby-Fairall. It is detailed and informative, yet charming  and inviting at the same time… It’s the sort of book that will fascinate children. They’ll turn the pages to read the names of plants printed along stems, they’ll go back and search for hidden green lacewings and stick looper moths.” – Karen Hardy, Canberra Times, 13 April 2011
  • ‘My Little World’ is an engaging look at the small flora and fauna everyday wonders of Canberra’s bushland from a child’s eye view. Exquisitely illustrated by Majorie Crosby-Fairall, the up close depiction of a sundew plant is particularly stunning. Cooke’s richly descriptive narrative moves along with the rhythm of a walk through bushland with stops and pauses to wonder at discoveries like a Christmas beetle with brown and shiny legs and “tummy shaggy grey”. A great book to encourage children’s interest in and appreciation of the unique flora and fauna of Australia’s bushland. – Annonymous review, fishpond.com.au  [here]
  • “Is your child fascinated by the little creatures in this world? If so, My Little World, is sure to be a favourite! A beautiful hardcover publication with drawings from one of Australia’s most celebrated illustrators, this story shares the discoveries that a young child makes whilst out walking with Gran and Jack. Because he is little, he sees the smaller creatures hiding closer to the ground, just waiting to be discovered. The story is full of factual information and lifelike pictures. The rhyme makes it easy to read and captivate the interest of young children. A must-have addition for the budding scientist!” – Coast Kids, May 2011 [here]
  • “Children obsessed with the minutiae of Mother Nature’s playground will adore this beautiful book, set on Black Mountain in Canberra. Exquisite illustrations by botanical artist Marjorie Crosby-Fairall and the enchanting rhyming text lure readers into a world inhabited by eye-patterned gum hoppers and black house spiders, among other critters.” – Gina Cranson, Newcastle Herald, 03/09/2011 [here]
  • “My Little World is a combined effort between author and illustrator, both with an obvious passion for Australian flora and fauna. Like a John Gould  anthology for children, the book’s botanical illustrations feature a superb use of colour and line, so true in detail as to be almost real. Julia Cooke’s  rhyming text fits perfectly with the drawings. Refreshingly, not so twee that it’s an irritation to read and it provides an accurate description of each insect in its natural habitat. This book is a reminder to take a break, slow down and really look at what is around us.” – Jane Barry, Brisbane Courier Mail, 4 June 2011
  • “I read a book called My Little World by Julia Cooke & Marjorie Crosby-Fairall. It was a lovely story about a little boy who went out walking with his big brother and Nan, but couldn’t see all the things they could see. Instead he was able to see all the little things in nature that big people always overlook. It was a lovely story and had lots of beautiful pictures of little animals and plants. I enjoyed reading it” – Emma, Reading Frenzy 2011 for the Pajama Foundation
  • “The world of “mini-beasts” is a fascinating one. Most children love the opportunity to come eye-to-eye with a creepy crawly providing it’s not too “bitey”. My Little World is a beautifully written and illustrated picture book that takes readers on a journey through the undergrowth. Out on a walk with Gran and Jack, the narrator is disappointed not to be able to see the birds and native animals his companions are spotting. However, there is more to see at his height in his “suprising little world”. Little squinting eyes, things with feelers and spikes. The narrator takes great delight in pointing out all manner of skinks, gum hoppers, ants, beetles, caterpillars, beautiful flowers and folage. Cleverly written in rhyme, youngsters will enjoy the story and the beautiful illustrations are sure to captivate them as they try to spot and identify the various mini beasts. My Little World is set on Black Mountain in the middle of Canberra. The comprehensive author’s notes at the back of the book tell readers that “the mountain is covered in dry eucalypt woodland with a rich biodiversity”. Cooke has also included extra information about the creatures found in the book and has given young readers a challenge to find other animals and insects hidden in the pictures. My Little World would be a valuable addition to any home or school library.” – Allison Wilson, Burnie Advocate, 23/4/2011, pg 32
  • “As Cooke’s rhyming text takes us through each lustrous page, Crosby-Fairall’s stunning illustrations unfurl a rich tapestry of organic, floral and faunal delights for the reader, complete with small labels, close-up insets and the opportunity to re-seek an insect or an animal at the very end of the book.  Set during spring on Black Mountain right in the middle of Canberra, My Little World is a gorgeous way to introduce kids to the prodigious natural world nestled within our nation’s rather corporate capital. Author notes reveal further fascinating information on several of the insects featured through the book, making it a priceless aid for teachers.” – Tania McCartney, Kids Book Review [here]
  • “My Little World covers a child’s discovery of  a new world of tiny plants and animals level eye [sic] to the child.  A fascinating journey into nature that is excellent for reading out aloud to young children.” – Get Ahead Kids Magazine, Vol 3, No. 3, May/June 2011
  • “Bursting with information, and detailed illustrations, My Little World is bound to satisfy the inquisitive minds of children and spark their interest in the little world around them. It is an invitation to explore the outdoors by searching under rocks and on leaves and stalks.  The descriptive and rhyming story is narrated by a young girl. Being small, she can bend down low to see behind curls of bark and along small branches; she notices the little things in nature that are easily missed by most people.” – Jackie Small, Books that Celebrate Spring, http://www.culturestreet.com.au

 Blogging

Julia was guest blogging on her My Little World tour in April and May 2011.  You can still follow her tour

Date Blog Topic
17 April 2011 post :  review : Kids Book Review  My Little World launch
23 April 2011 post :  My Growing Passion Getting the science right
30 April 2011 post :  Doctor Di Finding a story that resonates
7 May 2011 post : 3littlebirds Tiny beauty
14 May 2011 post Socksinmypocket A book that keeps giving
21 May 2011 post : Socksinmypocket Who is it?
28 May 2011 post : Bug in a Blog Preparing the Teacher’s Notes
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