Reading about the wide world is one thing. You look at the other with your own eyes. The author Mireia Trius and the illustrator Joana Casals offer a convincing compromise with their book “Me and the World”. Because make a quick trip around the world – difficult. And the world is so confusing. But you would still like to see something.
Where do people living in Germany prefer to spend their summer holidays?
Trius and Casals portion the world in graphics. In this way, comparisons can be presented very simply: The amount of rain in Germany? Hardly higher than in Spain and even lower than in Italy. Surprised! Dogs are the most popular pets before cats – but not in France, it’s the other way around. September, on the other hand, is the month in which most people celebrate their birthdays. An exception: Germany, because it is October there (very few people have their birthdays in April in this country).
What do children eat where for breakfast? What do the school uniforms look like where there are any? Which are the most visited museums? Where do people living in Germany prefer to spend their summer holidays – and how many people travel to Germany on vacation? Each double page is dedicated to a topic that is broken down into several graphics: languages, internet and homework…
Joana Casals is very creative when it comes to the forms of representation – both in the type of graphics and in their respective design. In principle, they are all self-explanatory and easy to understand. But you also have to learn that first: how to read a graphic in order to understand what it means, what is being compared with each other – and what is not. This also includes making it clear where the information illustrated in the graphics comes from. That may be the dullest part, but the statements can only be checked as serious through these sources at the end of the book.
One of the most abstract, but also most beautiful graphics shows different family structures. They look like chemical compounds of individual atoms. Kind of an accurate picture.
Mireija Trius, Joana Casals: I and the World. Translated from the Spanish by Christine Manz. Verlag Kleine Gestalten, Berlin 2022. 64 pages, 19.90 euros.