The Big Book of Belonging


While every one of us is ‘unique and special’, all of us have the same needs essentially. Through The Big Book of Belonging, Yuval Zommer draws examples of how humans and the natural world are connected.

For example, while humans speak in ‘over 7,000 different languages‘, ‘Caribbean reef squid change colour to communicate with each other’. Then again Tarsier cries are so shrill that they cannot be heard by other animals. What’s more, while we work together with friends and family, in teams or crews, the acacia tree provides food for the ants within it, while they protect the plant from grazing animals. Then again, Egyptian plovers feed about the left over food caught between crocodile teeth, cleaning this creature’s mouth and feeding too!

What’s more we all feel the seasons because ‘the Earth rotates as it travels around the world’. We might feel the effects at different times of the year, but we’ll also have shadows that point in different directions. Meanwhile storms and whirlpools turn in opposite directions according to the hemisphere in which we live.

Alongside such a density of really interesting information and comparisons, Yuval Zommer offers glorious pictures that are decorative, illustrative and joyous. There is such optimism in this beautiful book, that we might realise our connections, our role to protect the ecosystem, the air that we breathe, and conditions for everyone. Bookwagon thoroughly recommends The Big Book of Belonging for home and school.

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The Big Book of Belonging

Yuval Zommer

(Thames & Hudson)

It seems that every living thing upon our planet is connected in some way. While we have differences, there are similarities too. In The Big Book of Belonging, Yuval Zommer seeks to remind us of how we all fit.
Therefore, we contemplate the fact we each have thirst. However, while we might drink water, a sandgrouse soaks up water on its ‘special feathers‘ that enable it to carry it ‘back to their chicks’. Then again, while ‘every living thing needs a home’, each is different. While a male weaver bird seeks to attract a mate from its nest building, leaf curling spiders practise with fresh leaves until they can create curled dead leaves. What’s more, while we lose our hair when we  brush it, animals ‘shed their fur, feathers and even skin’. Yet ‘male fallow deer‘ ‘shed and regrow‘ their ‘impressive antlers to attract females‘ every year.
Furthermore, while we need sunshine, every living thing on the planet does, too. Therefore, plants such as ‘giant elephant ear plants’ grow leaves up to 1.8 m high to capture as much sunshine as they can. Meanwhile, blackbirds ‘like to stretch out their wings and sunbathe’. 
Alongside all the connections and comparisons made in this wonderful book, the writer offers thoughtful information about family, clean air, ecosystems and how we can each play a part in making everything healthy on our planet. Like other titles from this writer, including The Big Book of the Blue, we feel the purpose, enthusiasm and commitment. What’s more, like those books, this is a title to dive into, share, love, know, quote and learn from and treasure. Bookwagon loves and recommends The Big Book of Belonging for home, and school.


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