Books & Literature

Book Review: Footprint, by Phil Cummings and Sally Soweol Han

PICTURE BOOK: A unique, lyrical picture book that empowers children to think about the natural environment in a mindful and positive way, from one of Australia’s most prolific writers, with stunningly beautiful illustrations from an exciting up-and-coming illustrator.

Beautiful illustrations carry a story about our environment which would be perfect for any junior primary classroom.

Feature image credit: Allen & Unwin

South Australian award-winning author Phil Cummings is no stranger to readers both young and old. He has been writing children’s fiction since his first published book in 1989. Over 70 books later, with theatrical productions with Windmill Performing Arts and John Schumann, plus musical collaborations with composer Glyn Lehmann, Cummings has certainly been busy entertaining the young readers of Australia and the world.

Footprint is a picture book about seeing, feeling and listening to the wonders that surround us, but walking carefully and leaving only good behind. We follow children as they wander through different parts of the world, taking in everything around them. As readers we are saddened by places which have been spoiled by the human race, but feel joy in planting a seed or just hugging a tree.

Sally Soweol Han, a Korean-Australian artist, has used beautiful soft pastels and colour pencils to create different environments from forests and jungles to the ice of the Arctic and the deserts of Africa.  Each page perfectly enhances the text, illustrating how we can look after how planet.

The inside covers are full of colourful footprints. A beautiful touch is seeing the footprints in the sky representing the stars.

There is room in a classroom setting for this book as children are able to learn about their environment and those in other parts of the world. They can discuss the impact humans have had, and hopefully be encouraged  to think about what they themselves can do and then act on these discussions.  

Footprint teaches us that the world is a beautiful place which we can appreciate and help to protect. But mostly importantly, just remember to breathe.

Reviewed by Sue Mauger

The views expressed in this review belong to the author and not Glam Adelaide, its affiliates, or employees.

Distributed by: Allen & Unwin
Released: February 2024
RRP: $24.99

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