Books Change Everything

Books have changed the world. They can also change a person. Books allow you to live inside someone else’s head and see the world from a different perspective. Books help us to recognize ourselves but also show us what could be. Here are several picturebooks that can help readers to expand their world.

From the Good Mountain: How Gutenberg Changed the World

From The Good Mountain, How Gutenberg Changed the World by James Rumford

We often take them for granted, but books have changed the world – perhaps even more than computers have. When Johannes Gutenberg (‘Good mountain’) invented the printing press in 1450, it was the first time that people could mass produce words: stories, announcement, scripture. How was printing invented? How were books first made? It took the making of paper, the producing of ink, the crafting of metal letters, the invention of a machine – and it revolutionized the world. In this beautiful book, for all ages, James Rumford shows us what it took and how it worked.  ISBN 978-1-59643-542-1, Roaring Brook Press


Hike by Pete Oswald is a wordless picture book that celebrates the magic of a hike in the mountains. It is early in the morning when dad wakes his child. They dress and pack and drive off to the distant hills. Armed with a map and daypacks, the two spend the day walking higher, spotting birds, being watched by bunnies and deer. They notice tracks and feathers. 

At the end of the day, they plant a seedling to make sure there will always be trees and a forest for hiking. A lovely touch at the end of the book, is when the two are ready for bed after a tiring day, we spot a photo of the dad when he was a boy and hiked with his dad. Without words, this picturebook says much about the importance of nature, of being outdoors and of sharing special family moments that will make lasting memories. ISBN 978-1-5362-0157-4, Candlewick Press

I Love My City

I Love My City by France Desmarais, Richard Adams and Yves Dumont

From the forest we go to the city. When did people start living in cities? Around the world, development of cities has been similar. Today, billions live in cities. Some cities are planned, others sprout up as needed. What kind of buildings and public services do cities need, including clean water and safety measures. How can we make cities sustainable, recycle and supply green spaces? This book answers all of these questions and many more. A fun and interesting resource for budding engineers and users of cities anywhere. ISBN 978-1-77278-273-8, Pajama Press

We Are Lions!

We Are Lions! by Jens Mattson and Jenny Lucander is the touching story of two brothers. They roar! They claw! They pounce! They love to play and use their imagination. They can be roaring lions and fierce stalkers of wildebeest. But when one brother is ill and doesn’t feel like playing, the other is lost without his playmate. No matter how much he growls and pounces, his brother is too sick. He needs to go to the hospital and sleeps in a bed, like a cage in a zoo. How can a fierce lion remain still in bed for so long? 

All that helps, in the end, is a quite cuddle together – lion to lion, even when one has lost its fur. Soon they hope to go hunting again. A lovely story to help anyone who’s had to cope with serious illness.  ISBN 978-1-77306-701-8, Groundwood Books

Margriet Ruurs is the Canadian author of many books for children, including Where We Live, a book of maps of neighborhoods around the globe. She conducts author visits to International Schools and is booking now for 2024.

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