The ‘time slip’ device works well in this picture book about a young boy’s adventure with a group of Stone Age people. A young girl called Om introduces him to her tribe and he learns from them about tool making, hunting, fishing, cooking and cave wall painting. Much of this information is shown through copious small drawings with helpful annotation. A curious child will find answers to many of their questions here. How might you heat liquids before clay or metal pots were made? Perhaps by placing a red hot stone in a leather bag containing the soup or water. What were the stages in preparing and using animal skins? These are shown in a sequence of drawings.
The information on the Stone Age landscapes, lifestyles and activities is based on careful research. But imagination comes into play too: nowhere more successfully than in the parts of the book about cave wall paintings. The end pages are alive with an array of wonderfully drawn creatures: woolly rhinoceroses, mammoths, cave bears, wolverines and species of fish and birds.
Satoshi Kitamura’s passionate interest and knowledge about a period in the distant past has helped produce a book that will capture children’s imaginations.