A beguiling look at seven contemporary nomadic cultures around the world, offering a timely insight into alternative ways of life that connect us to our ancestral roots.
''We’ve seen nomadic life exemplified in picture books from time to time, but a nonfiction text that looks at how nomadic life came to be and the seven nomadic tribes that exist to this day is without compare''. -- School Library Journal
"This book is a great introduction to a group that many children haven’t heard of, and can spur further research and thinking about what we can learn from nomadic lifestyles". -- Youth Services Book Review
"Illustrated throughout with colourful, detailed smudgy images and diagrams of communities’ homes, their most cherished artefacts, and the routes they take, there is so much detail in this book that readers from eight years upwards will want to revisit it time and again". -- Just Imagine
"Informative and beautifully presented, this is a fascinating and thought-provoking look at nomadic lifestyles, traditions and cultures". -- Small Wonder Books
''An important and visually stunning book that would also make an excellent gift''. -- The Literacy Tree
''A compelling read'' -- School Reading List
A fascinating and beautiful survey of seven nomadic societies spread across the continents. With delicately beautiful illustrations bringing the material to life, we learn about the Sama Bajau, fishing nomads from the Philippines who spend months at sea without ever touching land. We discover the Yanomami peoples of the Amazon rainforest whose connection to their environment informs every aspect of their lives. The Nenet nomads of Siberia follow their reindeer through blasting winds to the very edge of the Arctic Circle.
All these cultures face common pressures and problems. Governments want them to settle down and assimilate; local populations view them with suspicion; subsistence farming or herding is not viable in a cut-throat globalised world.
This book offers a timely window on a simpler way of life, and on human traditions and cultures that connect us to our distant ancestors. Elegantly and respectfully written and illustrated, this book is a captivating contribution to the growing literature on nomadic societies, and will appeal to both the education and the gift markets.
Kinchoi Lam is an artist and picturebook creator based in Hong Kong. He is a recent graduate of the Cambridge School of Art Children’s Book Illustration MA, and winner of the Batsford Prize 2021. He was also shortlisted for the World Illustration Awards 2020, and selected for the exhibition of Bologna.
"It does seem more than a bit strange to me how few books children have on certain topics. We’ve seen nomadic life exemplified in picture books from time to time, but a nonfiction text that looks at how nomadic life came to be and the seven nomadic tribes that exist to this day is without compare. As the copy for this book puts it, “This book is a wonderful introduction to sustainable living as a contract to capitalistic societies.” Impressive Glossary too". -- School Library Journal
"Seven nomadic cultures from around the world are described in this handsome, engaging nonfiction volume. With a map to start, and beautiful images crafted by monotype and digital collage, the book honors the traditions, history and current reality of the Roma, Yanomami, Tuaregs, Maasai, Nenets, Mongolian nomads, and the Sama-Bajau. It was fascinating to learn a bit about each group and how they fit into the greater fabric of their country. For instance, the Nenets, pastoral nomads of Siberia, revere the reindeer, and eat its meat raw. The Sama-Bajau, a seafaring people who live on the waters around the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia, have evolved to have larger spleens in order to allow them to spend up to thirteen minutes under water.
An introduction defines the three types of nomadic peoples (hunter gatherers; pastoral nomads; and tinker/traders) and highlights nomadic life throughout human history. I appreciated Lam’s view that people today can learn about sustainable living through understanding these cultures. Each of the seven cultures has a chapter with full bleed artwork portraying the geography, clothing, shelter and methods of transportation. Lam’s artwork is able to capture the intimate aspects of the nomads’ lives as well as the broad strokes of their migratory rituals. The engaging text points out social structure, the place of women, and specific artistic traditions. There’s a glossary at the end. This book is great introduction to a group that many children haven’t heard of, and can spur further research and thinking about what we can learn from nomadic lifestyles". -- Youth Services Book Review
"I’m pretty sure that this intriguing book will introduce readers to information that they’d never come across before. Kinchoi Lam selects seven societies from the world’s nomads, including those who roam across deserts, the high steppes, the Amazon rainforests and the Pacific ocean. Some are hunter-gatherers, some are pastoral nomads and others work alongside settled communities.
Underlying all the accounts of nomadic life is the recognition that nomadic cultures have much to offer settled communities about how to live sustainably and how to fit in with an ecosystem, instead of trying to control or exploit it. Illustrated throughout with colourful, detailed smudgy images and diagrams of communities’ homes, their most cherished artefacts, and the routes they take, there is so much detail in this book that readers from eight years upwards will want to revisit it time and again to learn not only about the groups included here, but of how ideas of ‘home’ are unstable, with so many people forced to flee wars, famine and political persecution. In a powerful end-note, Kinchoi Lam describes the dangers to nomadic and sustainable lifestyles from prejudice, discrimination and exploitation of traditional lands, which is a reminder that not only the lives of the societies described here are affected by such forces, but that these are living daily threats to many Indigenous people across the world". -- Just Imagine
"What makes a home? Is it a house, car and belongings? Or it is something else? This fascinating non-fiction book explores the lifestyles of 7 contemporary nomadic cultures from around the world—from Roma to Maasai and Tuareg to Sama-Bajau.
The book highlights that at a time when climate change is causing us to “rethink our lifestyles”, it is important to look at ways we can be “more in tune with the environment” and consider ways of living that fit “within an ecosystem” rather than control it.
This beautifully illustrated book is created using monotype and digital collage by Hong Kong-based author-illustrator, Kinchoi Lam. At the back of the book, there is a spread prompting young readers to consider how they may live if nomads, for example, which dwelling they would most like to live in. The author also briefly describes other examples of alternative lifestyles “outside of traditional social structures” by choice or other, such as digital nomads.
The book draws to a close by highlighting that these nomadic communities, who are “marginalised” and “vulnerable” to the negative aspects of tourism and environmental issues, are an important connection to the “roots of human history” and must be protected. Informative and beautifully presented, this is a fascinating and thought-provoking look at nomadic lifestyles, traditions and cultures". -- Small Wonder Books
"A stunningly illustrated journey across the globe. Top 5 of 2022!" -- Picture Book Club