This Small Blue Dot
Zeno Sworder
Publisher: Thames & Hudson Australia
ISBN: 9781760761110
Awards Year: 2021
Category: CBCA Award for New Illustrator
The publisher says...

A young girl introduces the newest member of her family to the small wonders, big lessons and other important stuff that make being a child so special. 

With a strong message of interconnectedness, hope and empowerment, This Small Blue Dot follows a little girl exploring the big and small things in life. From contemplating our place on this ‘blue dot’ to the best Italian, Chinese and Indian desserts, the book provides a broader, more inclusive view of who we are, where we come from and where our dreams may take us. 

Delivering big lessons with playful humour, the precocious young narrator shares her take on nature and the environment, wisdom from elders, embracing difference, the power of imagination and broccoli. Through this character – loosely based on his eldest daughter, whose crayon drawings decorate the endpapers – Sworder channels the lessons he took from his Chinese grandmother and British father. ‘Because my daughters would not grow up hearing their voices I wanted to pass on some part of who they were and what they had taught me … In passing these lessons forward it was important to me to do so in the same spirit of generosity and fun that they gifted to me. There is a saying that you sail through life on a carpet woven from the love and wisdom of your ancestors. I benefited greatly from such a carpet and I made this book hoping that my daughters will as well.’ 

Richly illustrated with original pencil and crayon drawings that conjure up memories of childhood, This Small BlueDot captures not only lessons on life but also the sense of fun and strangeness that comes with being a member of the human family on planet Earth. 

The author says...

Click on the icon below to watch a video of author and illustrator Zeno Sworder reading This Small Blue Dot.

The CBCA judges say...

This book is a visual and verbal celebration of the creativity of a child’s mind when welcoming a new sibling into the world. Sworder uses a surprising array of mixed-media images on each page to illustrate his often-abstract concepts about life, ecology and sustainability. The incorporation of chalk drawings by a child into the endpapers provide convincing representations of the world of children. This book is an example of an insightful, contemporary work of art with an understanding of how picture books work for child readers. The execution of design and colour demonstrate a pleasing confidence for a new illustrator.

The Reading Time reviewers say...
Click here to read the Reading Time review.