Books

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.

Support the Big Issue

For over 30 years, the Big Issue has been committed to ending poverty in the UK. In 2024, our work is needed more than ever. Find out how you can support the Big Issue today.
Vendor martin Hawes

Recommended for you

View all
Parasol Against the Axe by Helen Oyeyemi review – electrifying, experimental writing
Books

Parasol Against the Axe by Helen Oyeyemi review – electrifying, experimental writing

The Hearing Test by Eliza Barry Callahan review – a droll insight into a year of loss
Books

The Hearing Test by Eliza Barry Callahan review – a droll insight into a year of loss

Top 5 books about the British seaside, chosen by crime writer William Shaw
Books

Top 5 books about the British seaside, chosen by crime writer William Shaw

The Other Valley by Scott Alexander Howard review – the moral conundrums of coming of age
Books

The Other Valley by Scott Alexander Howard review – the moral conundrums of coming of age

Most Popular

Read All
Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits
Renters: A mortgage lender's window advertising buy-to-let products
1.

Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal
Pound coins on a piece of paper with disability living allowancve
2.

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over
next dwp cost of living payment 2023
3.

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know
4.

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know