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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
Coming and Going
by Isabel Minhos Martins
Age Range: 6-8
Over the centuries, humans have discovered many different ways to get from one place to another besides using their legs and feet. They use cars, trains, boats and planes, so coming and going is second nature to them, but what about all the other creatures in the world? How do they get around?
In this beautifully striking picture book by Portuguese writer Isabel Minhós Martins the reader is taken on a journey through the developing world showing the different modes of transport we use to come and go. With lovely poetic prose she demonstrates how whales, wildebeest, terns, tuna and Monarch butterflies come and go too. Martins manages to send out a powerful environmental message showing a poignant contrast between man and nature and the way we treat our planet. Humans need so much whilst a tree or a butterfly needs so little. Nature does not have to rely on anything other than itself.
“In our eagerness, we wanted to go supersonic. /In our eagerness, we hunted for super fuels. /In our eagerness, we almost blew the fuses …/ (no, not ours, but the planet’s).”
“Perhaps it would do good to remember/that our feet are not just for wearing shoes/and our head is not just for wearing a hat.”
The illustrations by Bernardo Carvalho are a riot of rainbow colours bursting from every page. The blending and merging of shapes with their overlapping blocks of colour create a chaos that perfectly mirrors the text and its message of a developing world. This is in sharp contrast to the softer, but equally striking images of the animals as they inhabit their own environment. Carvalho's illustrations for Coming and Going were shortlisted for the 2014 Illustrarte Award for contemporary illustration for children.
Martin’s other books are equally captivating When I Was Born and Where Do We Go When We Disappear?