The World That We Want by Kim Michelle Toft

This is a stunning non-fiction picture book by silk artist, Kim Michelle Toft, who presents 9 different habitats hand painted on silk, in breathtaking beauty.

The cumulative text runs smoothly, in the style of the nursery rhyme ‘This is the house that Jack built’.

The book opens with a mesmerising turquoise blue and black scene, over which a small single Ulysses butterfly spreads its wings. A note from the author challenges you to identify the 45 creatures depicted in these pages.

As worlds unite And habitats grow

Find 45 creatures Which ones do you know?

As you read, the text grows like puzzle pieces moving towards a bigger picture. Similarly, the illustrations come together, linking habitats to display the unity of the greater environment.

First, three specific habitats with the creatures living there are introduced, followed by a colourful double-page combining all three, where we see how all things exist together.

There is so much to explore on every page. Try and find the Red-eyed tree frog cleverly camouflaged near a cluster of Heliconia plants. The Saw shell turtle and Saltwater crocodile look amazing. Adding colour to the tide pool, atoll and reef habitats are the Blue-ringed-octopus, Sea Anemone and Blue-spotted stingray. 

Finally, the author delivers an important message of the balance of all living things and a warning against the destruction of these precious habitats. The book ends with an index containing definitions of the 9 habitats and all 45 species pictured.

This is a smart and exquisite presentation of the thriving life of the ecosystems in North Queensland, Australia.

Suggested age: Read aloud to 5+. Read by self 7+. Recommended for a confident reader.

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