Once Upon a Big Idea


James Carter suggests that the wheel might be ‘the best invention of all time’. After all it ‘changed lives’. Then again, there are so many life changing inventions through history. What’s more, this poet offers a stirring snap shot of many that captivate and educate.

Therefore, we are reminded that ‘rocks and stones- all around’ were used for ‘making tools and walls and bricks’. Then again, we’ve ‘wood’ that could ‘bend, could float,/ buil[t] homes and bridges/ that crafted us ‘boats’. What’s more glass came from sand, then ‘pots and pipes,/ cups and plates’ from clay. We cooked from fire, then had heat and light to ‘illuminate/ the darkest night‘.

Once Upon a Big Idea is a poetic, historical timeline of discovery, effort and invention. Bookwagon loves this intelligent writer’s magnificent narrative, alongside the bold, brilliant pictures of Margaux Carpentier. Bookwagon recommends this poetry book as one to share, discuss and include in reading aloud. It is mighty!

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Once Upon a Big Idea

The Story of Inventions

James Carter and Margaux Carpentier

(Little Tiger)

‘Welcome to our modern world!‘ with a ‘whizz, fizz,/ zip, zap,/ tick, tock/ click, clack. It seems we’ve so many great inventions, from ‘rockets, robots,/ turbo engines,/Telescopes/ and clocks and trains…’ What’s more, they’re all inventions ‘from human brains’. 
Thereafter James Carter reminds us of how we work. For example we ‘take something old‘ and work to ‘shape it,/ chop and change it,/ All the while we recreate it…‘ This means that ‘rocks and stones’ were used for ‘making tools/ and walls and bricks‘ before they became the pyramids. What’s more, animal products, from ‘fur and hides’ to ‘wool’ and ‘bones‘ gave us clothing, food and tools.
It means Once Upon a Big Idea, is a reminder of all that was before the vision, effort, revision and possible discovery. Then again, we realise the practice, attempts and revisions. What’s more, this poetry book examines so many products. Just think of Stuff but as a revision! Altogether, we’re reminded of how every product has  been repurposed by human hand, from gold to copper, clay to fire. Furthermore, as with each of this superb non-fiction poetry series from James Carter, we’re given a tour of excellence, research and understanding.
Bookwagon loves this explosive, almost immersive non-fiction poetry book of discovery. Alongside James Carter’s fascinating text, are tropical bright, fluid pictures from Margaux Carpentier. Altogether, Once Upon a Big Idea is guaranteed to inspire and delight readers.


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