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Top 5 books that see the world differently, chosen by Rob and Tom Sears

The brotherly partnership of children's book creators select five titles that look at our planet through a different lens

Planet earth reflected in a light bulb

Image by PIRO from Pixabay

Author Rob Sears and his illustrator brother Tom choose their five books that see the world in a different way.

1. The Arrival by Shaun Tan

This wordless graphic novel is mind-blowingly imaginative, richly illustrated and very moving. It manages to reflect the experience of any immigrant who has had to find their way in an alien land.

2. Stephen Biesty’s Incredible Cross-Sections

A glimpse behind the stage curtain of the human world. This was full of revelations for us as kids – like the fact that crews on jumbo jets have their own sleeping compartments tucked just out of view.

3. Dear Data by Stefanie Posavec and Giorgia Lupi 

This book takes the form of an exchange of postcards between two friends – it’s not written in English but in the language of data with hand-drawn graphs that reveal hidden patterns in everyday existence.

4. Here by Richard McGuire

A high-concept graphic novel showing a single location across history. On one page it’s a 20th-century lounge, on another a patch of prehistoric woodland. Makes you ponder the lives of the countless creatures and people who’ve passed through.

5. IPCC Climate Change Report 2022

OK, not a great beach read, but one that pulls together research and statistics to show the big picture of what’s really happening on our planet. Our book, The Biggest Footprint, tells a similar story, just with surreal images instead of long paragraphs, and a lot more jokes.

The Biggest Footprint book cover
The Biggest Footprint by Rob Sears, illustrated by Tom Sears, is out now (Canongate, £14.99).

The Biggest Footprint by Rob Sears, illustrated by Tom Sears, is out now (Canongate, £14.99). It’s the winner of 2022 inaugural James Cropper Wainwright Prize for Children’s Nature Writing. You can buy it from The Big Issue shop on Bookshop.org, which helps to support The Big Issue and independent bookshops.

This article is taken from The Big Issue magazine, which exists to give homeless, long-term unemployed and marginalised people the opportunity to earn an income.

To support our work buy a copy! If you cannot reach your local vendor, you can still click HERE to subscribe to The Big Issue today or give a gift subscription to a friend or family member. You can also purchase one-off issues from The Big Issue Shop or The Big Issue app, available now from the App Store or Google Play.

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