Book Review: The Everyday Journeys of Ordinary Things by Libby Deutsch and Valpuri Kerttula

Every day we are surrounded by ordinary objects and services that have been on the most extraordinary journeys to reach us -- journeys that are all happening RIGHT NOW. Take a look around you. What do you see? Where does it come from? How did it begin?

Once you start noticing these extraordinary journeys, you'll never look at the world in the same way again...

Where does luggage go when it sets off on the luggage belt at the airport before catching a plane? How does online shopping work? How does a movie get made? The Everyday Journey of Ordinary Things has the answers to all these questions and many more besides.

The concept is simple. Each 'journey' is given the space of a heavily illustrated two-page colour spread to chart how each of the ordinary things in question goes from point of origin to destination with the help of handy arrows. While some of these ordinary things are as everyday as you might expect from the title of this book -- bananas, chocolate, even the perennial favourite poo -- some more esoteric 'ordinary things' get a shoutout: GPS, money, phone calls.

Without ever being overly didactic, The Everyday Journey of Ordinary Things draws attention to the vast amount of effort necessary to delivering the things around us to us, and to the processes that make our lives easier. The 'journeys' chronicled in the book isn't always journeys of distance -- the journey of money is a chronicle through time, a look at how money developed from barter trade to the paper and digital currency that we use today. The journey of a book is the process of how it develops from idea to the physical paper and ink product in the reader's hands with the help of author, agent, publisher, illustrator, designer, proofreader, and printer.

While each spread deals with single objects and single journeys, the many stops each ordinary thing takes along the way reveals much of how the world works in very practical terms. An excellent gift for kids who always ask why or kids who are curious about the things around them.

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