Children’s Book Review – How Did I Get Here?

Cover Image for How Did I Get Here?

How Did I Get Here? by Philip Bunting

This book was Notable for the Children’s Book Council of Australia’s Book of the Year Awards – Picture Book of the Year.

This is the story of all of us. The unauthorised biography of you. It is a book created to raise more questions that it answers.

  • How did the universe start?
  • How did humans evolve?
  • How am I related to the dinosaurs and early life on the planet?

How do I answer these questions when small children ask them?

This book can help. There are lots of books out there in our collection and in the world of books that deal with just one of these questions or help us answer each but they are so often aimed at adults or older children and don’t always come with illustrations and humorous asides. This book will take you from before the big bang to your life in just thirty pages.

As a result, much like it says on the back, and in the blurb above, reading this book will make you want to know more.

The great thing about this book is that you don’t have to go on and learn more. It is a solid, quick journey through the universe’s creation to evolution, to the way the Earth came to be the Earth, to migration of humans from Africa to how we go from zygote to baby with pictures, flowcharts and the aforementioned funny note. It even has a picture of the solar system (without Pluto – I still refuse to believe it isn’t a planet).

I thoroughly enjoyed Philip Bunting’s book Mopoke last year, and the same humour is evident on the pages of this book.

No, this book won’t tell you everything there is to know about the universe…but for all those questions that this book prompts readers to ask we have a wide selection of books for more detailed information.

Book cover for Brief Answers to the Big Questions

Brief Answers to the Big Questions / Stephen Hawking

Offers the renowned scientist’s final thoughts on using science to address the most important challenges facing humanity.

Book cover for A Short History of Nearly Everything
A Short History of Nearly Everything (eaudiobook) by Bill Bryson
A Short History of Nearly Everything is Bill Bryson’s fascinating and humorous quest to understand everything that has happened from the Big Bang to the rise of civilisation. He takes subjects that normally bore the pants off most of us, like geology, chemistry, and particle physics, and aims to render them comprehensible to people who have never thought they could be interested in science. In the company of some extraordinary scientists, Bill Bryson reveals the world in a way most of us have never seen it before.
Book cover for On the Origin of Species

On the Origin of Species / Charles Darwin

The publication of Charles Darwin’s The Origin of Species in 1859 marked a dramatic turning point in scientific thought, but it also ignited a firestorm of controversy. More than two decades following his intercontinental voyage aboard the HMS Beagle, the English naturalist carefully advanced his theory of evolution by natural selection, offering coherent and highly readable views of adaptation, survival of the fittest, and other concepts that form the foundation of modern evolutionary theory. The first edition of the book sold out on the day of publication, and as it continues to spark heated debate 150 years later, the work’s impact is undeniable. Launching modern biology and informing virtually all contemporary literary, philosophical, and religious thinking, this is a book that changed the world, and now it is available as a portable, elegantly designed clothbound edition with an elastic closure and a new introduction.

Book cover for Life, the Universe and Everything

Life, the Universe and Everything / Douglas Adams

Only five individuals stand between the killer robots of Krikkit and their goal of the total annihilation of the universe. They are Arthur Dent, homeless Englishman currently marooned in the deep past; his friend Ford Prefect, temporarily insane to see if he likes it, also marooned; Slartibartfast, once of the planet builders of Magrathea; Zaphod Beeblebrox, ex-confidence trickster and part-time galactic president; and Trillian, the sexy space cadet who is torn between a persistent Thunder God and a very depressed Beeblebrox. In other words: we’re doomed.

Okay, so maybe this one isn’t quite a science tome but we can all use a little more Douglas Adams in our life…and it’s all there in the title.

But it’s a brilliant place to start. It asks us to think about the fact that we are all connected – because we are all related in the grand scheme of the universe and we have more in common than we might think. On top of all that, this book is an unauthorised biography of ME, just like it’s a biography of Pram Jam David and Storytime Asha and who doesn’t love to read something all about them?

I look forward to sharing this book with children, and their adults, during Children’s Book Week and beyond.

I would recommend this book to all the little scientists (everyone) aged 4+