What Matters


Hardcover, 32 pages
September 16, 2016 : Orca Books 
Source: Orca Books

What happens when one small boy picks up one small piece of litter? He doesn’t know it, but his tiny act has big consequences. From the minuscule to the universal, What Matters sensitively explores nature’s connections and traces the ripple effects of one child’s good deed to show how we can all make a big difference.

Orca Books recently held a draw in honour of Earth Day, and I was lucky enough to win a copy of one of their recent picture book, What Matters

What Matters showcases the important impact even the smallest acts of environmental responsibility can have on the world around us. When a young boy recycles a single aluminium can, it has a ripple effect that impacts a whole host of other creatures, from an ant, to a dandelion, to a crab.

With its emphasis on simple, everyday actions, What Matters is a lovely, positive story to share with young children as a means of encouraging them to be more aware of their environment. The reality is that no one person can single-handedly save the environment, or undo the pollution of the past. With so much doom and gloom in the news regarding the state of the world, it can sometimes feel like there’s nothing any on person can really do to make a difference.

But as the little boy in the story shows, each and every person has the power to do something, and each and every act, no matter how small, matters. If we all do our small part, together we really can change the world.

I do wish the text was just a bit more detailed, with less abstract connections – the story suggests that the child’s action helped a spider, for example, but it’s not immediately clear how the two are connected. More concrete text might be more helpful for young readers.

On the whole, though, this is a very positive, encouraging environmental story that can hopefully inspire young children to take a real interest in making a difference in the world around them, no matter how small it might seem.

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