A young cave-boy leaves the safety of his home to explore an environment which is both exciting and threatening. The book communicates well the things that would matter to such a child: being hot or cold, comfortable or uncomfortable, frightened or fascinated. The loose pastel illustrations show a small being in a world untouched by human habitation. Children will like discovering the camouflaged creatures just visible in their habitats – forest, tall grass and red rocks – and ready to pounce.
Early books sometimes blur the boundary between fact and fiction and I’m not worried about the Sabre Toothed Tiger and the Woolly Mammoth talking. After all, these ‘voices’ could be the child’s own thoughts. But the young cave-boy encounters a dinosaur. Humans did not live alongside dinosaurs and they do not appear on cave paintings. I think this matters: you cannot start too soon to help children understand the sequence in which life appeared on earth.