• Picturebook Snob

A glorious trip around the globe

Welcome to our World: A Celebration of Children Everywhere by Moira Butterfield and Harriet Lynas, Nosy Crow

What's it about?

Welcome to our World introduces children to different traditions and languages from around the globe, with almost 100 countries featured. Interesting facts are presented in an entertaining and child-friendly format. Fabulous illustrations make this even more appealing to little readers.

What can we learn?

This is packed with information which includes where children live, how and where they go to school, what they wear and what they eat. We also see greetings, pets, superstitions, games and celebrations typical to a variety of countries. There is something amazing on every page! It would be impossible to list everything here, but among my favourite discoveries were cures for the hiccups and celebratory cakes.

I love the double-page spread of unusual sayings such as "stop ironing my head," which means "stop annoying me" in Armenian. I assumed the same noises were attributed to animals all over the world, but was delighted and intrigued to learn new sounds for familiar animals. The assorted alternatives to the tooth fairy were fascinating too. I always wondered why there was no "children's day" when I was young, but it turns out there are lots of special days set aside for children in other parts of world. If only I had known how to milk these when I was a kid myself!

What makes this stand out?

It's so impressive how much information this book holds and how attractive it is. Welcome to our World gently educates without ever boring or overwhelming the reader. It's perfect for dipping in and out of and the illustrations are wonderful.

About those illustrations...

They're gorgeous; extremely colourful and animated with a child-like simplicity and I love how cheerful they are too. Lines and scribbles are visible, giving the images a hand-drawn quality which may inspire and encourage creativity in young readers. My almost four-year-old loves turning the pages by herself and looking at the images alone.

Why we love it...

I would have LOVED this book when I was younger and my children and I have so much fun reading it together now. We tend to look at just a few pages at a time but it's a book my girls (aged 6 and almost 4) keep returning to, and I know they will get more out of it as they grow. We have enjoyed learning new words and games, especially the Indonesian version of "Rock, Paper, Scissors" (ant, human, elephant) and look forward to trying the others.

It's brilliant to see Ireland represented as it's usually indistinct from the UK in books of this nature. There are lots of different Irish words sprinkled throughout this and there's even an Irish dancing costume in the "clothes for special occasions" part. We've been using some of the phrases and my kids find the section on international manners particularly amusing.

Why you need it...

Welcome to our World is a fantastic resource for every home and classroom, and would make a lovely gift too. I expect it will come in handy in future when my children are doing school projects. As it's light and portable, it's perfect for taking on long journeys or for passing the time in waiting rooms. Welcome to our World will make young people curious about, and interested in exploring, other parts of our planet. It's an excellent way of introducing children to different cultures and countries at a time when travel is restricted. This joyous and beautiful book helps readers to feel connected to the rest of the world, and shows that despite our differences, we are all the same.

About the author:

Moira Butterfield lived and travelled in lots of different locations as a child, and still thinks our world is an endlessly exciting place to explore. She went on to study literature and become an author of children’s non-fiction and fiction for a variety of ages. Moira believes there are no limits to the imagination or to the wonder of our planet and so she has written about many different subjects, from ancient treasures to future worlds via pirates, kings, jungles and sea monsters. You can see more of Moira's books on her website.

About the illustrator:

Harriet Lynas is an award-winning children’s book illustrator who lives in Hertfordshire with her husband and their son. She has always loved doodling since she was able to hold a pencil and decided to become an illustrator at the age of ten. After studying Visual Communication Design, Harriet worked in the fashion industry before becoming a children’s book illustrator. You can see more of Harriet's work on her website. We also have This Love by Isabel Otter which Harriet illustrated and are mad about it too (read a review).

Welcome to our World was originally published in 2018 by Nosy Crow and was released in paperback in January 2021 - see this book on the publisher's website

A huge thanks to the lovely people in Nosy Crow for kindly sending us a copy of this book to review - all opinions expressed are our own.

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