Originally published: August 2018
Author: Charlotte Guillain
Illustrator: Yuval Zommer
Published by: words & pictures
Genre: Children’s non-fiction
Length: 20 pages
Reading dates: 18 April 2020
Quarto Books were lovely enough to send me a selection of their children’s books to review and blog about over the coming weeks. I adore children’s books – I think I am still hankering after the time I used to share books with my boys. The joy of discovery and sharing words and illustrations, knowing they were learning and discovering through books was wonderful. Luckily I have two young nieces and I will be sharing these books with them once lockdown is over!
The Skies Above My Eyes is a concertina style book that opens up to over 2.5 metres in length! Starting at ground level in a busy city, when we look up we can see street signs, high rise buildings and window cleaners on a cradle. As we go higher and higher we see airplanes, rocket ships, satellites, the International Space Station, astronauts, the moon, all the way out to the solar system.
And then we start to come back down to earth via the Milky Way and the Northern Lights and thunder storms. It also looks at how high some birds can fly – Ruppell’s griffon vulture can fly the highest – over 10km above the earth. Even Swans fly 8km above the earth! We then see hot air balloons, skydivers and end up on the forest floor staring up at sky.
This is a really good idea for a book – the concertina pages make it a fun and exciting way to read and learn. Getting on the floor with your child and opening it out to the full length is loads of fun and may entice more reluctant readers to engage. There are lots of illustrations and facts and I’d imagine it is the sort of book that a child would be able to get something new from every time they looked. Even if they just enjoy looking at the pictures, I think there is still value in the book. And I have to admit, I learnt quite a bit too!
I think age range would be 3+ for sharing, 5-7 for reading and enjoying independently.
Many thanks to Megan from Quarto Kids for gifting me a copy of this book.
About the author:
Charlotte Guillain lives in Oxfordshire, UK. She writes fiction and non-fiction for children, including the picture book Spaghetti with the Yeti, which was shortlisted for Oscar’s First Book Prize 2014 and has featured in CBeebies Bedtime Stories. The Street Beneath My Feet, Charlotte’s first title for words & pictures, was shortlisted for the UKLA Book Awards 2018 and named an ALSC Notable Children’s Book 2018 in the All Ages category, as well as being selected by the Guardian as one of 15 ‘modern classics’.
Yuval Zommer graduated from the Royal College of Art with an MA in Illustration. He worked for many years as a creative director at leading advertising agencies before becoming the author and illustrator of highly acclaimed non-fiction.