Small World by Ishta Mercurio

Small World

When Nanda is born, the whole of her world is the circle of her mother’s arms. But as she grows, the world grows too. It expands outward—from her family, to her friends, to the city, to the countryside. And as it expands, so does Nanda’s wonder in the underlying shapes and structures patterning it: cogs and wheels, fractals in snowflakes. Eventually, Nanda’s studies lead her to become an astronaut and see the small, round shape of Earth f...

Details Small World

TitleSmall World
Release DateJul 2nd, 2019
PublisherAbrams Books for Young Readers
GenreChildrens, Picture Books, Space

Reviews Small World

  • Allie
    Genuinely my new favorite picture book. The text is so lyrical, and hits just the right repetitive notes to be soothing but not annoying. I love the gentle journey Nanda goes through her entire life, and the illustrations fit really perfectly. I will definitely be looking for an opportunity to read this during story time and give it as a gift!
  • Monique Fields
    Ishta shows us how a child's world expands as she grows older. The lyrical prose makes for a fun read as Nanda literally grows up on the book's pages. This one will surely inspire children to take risks and see the world.
  • Abigail
    When Nanda is small, her world is as well, encompassed by her mother's cradling arms. As she grows, so too does her world, her horizons expanding as her knowledge and experience do. Growing up, going to college, eventually becoming an astronaut, she eventually sees the world as small again. When viewed from space, that is...A lovely book, one which explores the individual's relationship to their world, and their changing perceptions of that world...
  • Ben Truong
    Small World is a children's picture book written by Ishta Mercurio and illustrated by Jen Corace, which tells the story of Nanda, a little girl, who grows up to be an astronaut.Mercurio's text is rather simplistic and straightforward. It chronicles the life of Nanda, from a infant where her world was as large as her mother's arm to when she becomes an astronaut and sees just how small the Earth can be. Corace's illustrations are serene and slight...
  • Jennifer
    The story is simple and the pictures fit it perfectly, but this one just didn't grab me. I think by being a picture book, the format misses its target audience. Obviously, it's meant to showcase the geometry and beauty of nature and the sky. It's meant to show the girl dreaming of bigger and bigger things and eventually working hard and achieving bigger and bigger things. However, the picture book format puts it squarely in the hands of younger c...
  • Kim Chaffee
    This story is one that you will be happy to read over and over when your child asks you to again and again. Mercurio’s charming, lyrical text partnered with Corace’s stunning art, make this STEM-themed story about Nanda and her growing world one you won’t want to miss.
  • Rebecca
    A lyrical picture book about growing up -- as the world grows with you. Great depiction of a girl pursuing STEM interests, too. Illustrations by Jen Corace have nice geometric and circle motifs. "The art for this book was created with gouache, ink, and pencil on Rives BFK."
  • Michelle (FabBookReviews)
    Children's author Ishta Mercurio (Bite Into Bloodsuckers) and I Hatched illustrator Jen Corace join together to bring readers the wondrous and beautiful picture book Small World. A poetic look at one young girl's changing perspective and relationship to the natural world as she grows up, Small World takes readers on an adventure that begins in the comforting hold of a mother's arms and ends with an awe-inspiring gaze at our world. Nanda got bigge...
  • Olivia
    See my full review here: WORLD is a gorgeous celebration of growing up and following your dreams. When Nanda was born, her world was very small. As she got bigger and older, her world continues to grow, including more people and ideas. When she grows up, she goes to the moon, and now the Earth seems small. With beautiful, geometric illustrations and an ultimate message of achieving your dreams, this i...
  • Tasha
    Nanda was born into the circle of her mother’s loving arms. As she grew, her world grew too. It grew to include more circles, branches in trees, blocks, steel, and cogs. Her world got bigger as she traveled to college where she built her own helicopter and then became a pilot. Her world continued to grow as she roared into the atmosphere aboard a space shuttle. She was bigger than she had ever been before when she stood on the moon’s surface ...
  • Lorie
    When Nanda is born her world is the cozy embrace of her mother, but as she grows her world increases in complexity until she sees earth as an adult from space. This picture book is a delicately woven story that symbolizes that our own personal world can be both big and small depending on how you look at it. Mercurio’s text is lyrical and yet simple enough to capture the attention of a preschool audience, but complex enough to spark great discus...
  • Laurie Hnatiuk
    A delightful book that will empower young readers to see that perspective, wonder and creativity play an important role in our lives. Nanda is small when she is born and we learn how small her world is from being just her mother and then extending out to her family. As Nanda grows so does her world that includes not only family and friends but how manmade objects and nature can define a way to see the world both small and big. And Nanda sees the ...
  • Enora
    The illustrations in this book and the choice of patterns are absolutely stunning, but the writing unfortunately ruins the full experience. The story is trying to be serious, evocative, even poetic, but it fails at being accessible and understandable to kids. A lot of words are extremely challenging for kids, and the story is hard to follow. The book doesn't feel like it was written for kids.
  • Jana
    Young readers will enjoy considering being both big and small at the same time. When Nanda is born, her world is a small as she, a little baby in her mother's arms. But as Nanda grows, so does the world around her, and so does her ability to see and appreciate all of the patterns around her. Eventually she becomes an astronaut and goes into outer space, where she gets to see how small the world looks from way up there. Gorgeous illustrations alon...
  • Krissy Neddo
    I really liked it, but again it's a picture book that speaks to adults and readers older than its format. Possibly an end of fifth grade read/gift to encourage the graduates to keep reaching for bigger and better. I hurriedly finished it the first time I read it, hoping the back pages would reference the prose to a real person. While I appreciate the author's notes and the artwork, not sure this will be a good fit for my library. Definitely a pub...
  • Kaitlyn
    Small World is a beautiful and empowering picture book. Through it’s lovely pictures and lyrical language, this story follows a strong girl whose world starts small and grows with her as she achieves one amazing thing after another. This book is one that everyone should have on their bookshelves to remind readers and listeners that our world is all about perspective and that we can do anything we set our minds to.
  • Brooklyn Cribdon (The Wild Library)
    I loved the story and the concept of this picturebook, but something about it just didn't capture me the way I expected it to. Perhaps it was the illustrations? Anyhow, a very sweet and inspiring book about a young girl named Nanda (which means Joy) who grows bigger and bigger, just like the world around her.... until she finds herself as an astronaut in the biggest environment she could imagine- outer space.
  • Diane
    “But as she grew, the world grew, too.”From her mother’s arms, to her family circle, to her group of “giggling playmates,” Nanda’s sphere of safety and comfort continues to get bigger as Nanda grows older. Soon, her interests grow bigger as well until she is on rocket and then standing on “foreign soil” in space.A poetic homage to growing up and reaching past your little circle of safety to discover new things, over and over and o...
  • Alyssa Gudenburr
    A beautiful book about dreams, space, and perspectives. Starts from small world in your mother's arms all the way to space. Then looking back on the Earth, the girl realizes her "big" world is actually small compared to the universe. This would make a great one-on-one story to encourage little girls to dream big.
  • Laura
    In this poetic journey, a girl grows up and her world expands until she is both "bigger than she had ever been before" and a tiny speck in the star-filled universe. A glorious, unexpected circular story.
  • Pam
    Readers see how their worlds expand as they grow up. The world begins as our mother's arms and expands to include the whole universe as we figure out our path in life.Beautiful illustrations show Mercurio's message.
  • Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy)
    I liked this book so much. My only criticism (which isn't a real criticism) is that I wanted this to be a biography, a story that was at least based on a real person. I really appreciated the author's note as well.
  • Bkrieth
    I love the expanding scope and perspective of this book about how we can be both big and small at the sane time. Great female modeling inclusive of diverse cultures, and filled with interesting geometric and mathematical models.
  • Margaux
    Follows Nanda through her life, from when the world is small when she's a baby, to when it gets bigger when she's a little girl and into adulthood. Eventually she becomes an astronaut, and you know how important it is to have women in STEM.
  • Norkett
    Very lyrical, enjoyed the story of no matter how big you are, the world is bigger. It was an inspiration seeing the girl advancing thru life and ending up in space. Initially was thinking it would be along the lines of the Disneyworld ride, It's a small world but was much different!
  • Kara
  • Julia Crainshaw
    Through the first several pages, I thought this picture book was more for parents than children. However, by the end of the book, I felt it was a wonderful read for both groups.
  • Nadia L. Hohn
    A sweet story about how childhood wonder transforms to real world dreams. Beautiful simple language expands a child’s universe.
  • Stephanie Ward
    A lovely story about growing up and learning about our place in the world.