Reviews for All the World

Booklist Reviews 2009 July #1
It's arguable to what degree young children feel part of a wider world, but this gentle exercise should at least get them thinking about it. Scanlon uses a pleasing rhythm to move from normal-life specifics all the way to more existential concepts. Small illustrations of a family entering a restaurant are paired with everyday notions (Table, bowl, cup spoon / Hungry tummy, supper's soon / Butter, flour, big black pot) before a page turn offers a panoramic spread of the restaurant and the woods surrounding it: All the world is cold and hot. It's a catchy pattern perfect for reading aloud while pointing out the children hiding within the illustrations. Spanned across large, horizontal pages, Frazee's black pencil and watercolor drawings have the thick texture necessary to believably portray wind, rain, and clouds, and provide a solid grounding for text that occasionally gets a bit intangible: All the world is everything / Everything is you and me. Adults should enjoy this, too, which will only increase its popularity. Copyright 2009 Booklist Reviews.

BookPage Reviews 2009 October
One day, one world

You know the feeling when you read a book and you want everyone you know to read it—right now? Well, that’s how I feel about All the World, a new picture book by poet Liz Garton Scanlon and artist Marlee Frazee. This oversized paean to living life right here and now has grabbed me in a way that few books have lately. By the time I let my husband read it, I had already read it three times, just because it made me feel so happy.

Told in rhyming couplets, Scanlon’s story of a day in the life of Every Family is just the antidote for the cynicism of the times. “Rock, stone, pebble, sand / Body, shoulder, arm, hand / A moat to dig, a shell to keep / All the world is wide and deep.” So opens this story of a loving family, a supportive community and the beauty of the day. Frazee’s illustrations show various figures buying produce at a farmer’s market, playing at a park, eating in a cozy local café, playing music together and, finally, safe at rest. At the center of each picture and couplet are relationships—between couples, parents and children, and neighbors. A careful look at the illustrations allows the reader to follow each set of characters—including the multiracial family with two kids, the two women on bicycles, the older couple, the man with his yellow dog—from start to finish. Gentle foreshadowing also lets the reader see what’s coming next. One stunning double-page spread shows the whole town—and the whole landscape of the story—at rest. Young readers can trace the story from the beginning at the beach in the west all the way to the pier in the east.

This oversized volume is a statement of what all people really need to be human. The needs of the characters are the needs of everyone everywhere—food, recreation, companionship, music, land, a safe place to play, imagination, love and, most of all, community.

All the way through, a gentle lullaby of words tells the tale: “Hope and peace and love and trust / All the world is all of us.” I think I’ll go read it again.

Robin Smith is a second-grade teacher in Nashville.

Copyright 2009 BookPage Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2010 Spring
A family visits the beach, a farmers' market, and a park, then hosts a gathering of friends and family. Scanlon's rhyming text has a child-friendly simplicity around which Frazee's illustrations build a satisfying narrative. The West Coast seaside setting showcases not only Frazee's affectionate mix of people but also her familiar skyscapes, glowing with color and shaded with horizontal lines. Copyright 2010 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2009 #5
Scanlon's text has a child-friendly simplicity reminiscent of Margaret Wise Brown -- "Rock, stone, pebble, sand / Body, shoulder, arm, hand / A moat to dig, a shell to keep / All the world is wide and deep" -- around which Frazee's illustrations build a satisfying narrative. After a trip to the beach, a family stops at a farmers' market, visits a park, and enjoys a meal at a cafe; back home at day's end, they host an informal gathering, where young readers will be able to spot individuals seen earlier in the book. Though the text mentions "nanas, papas, cousins, kin," the corresponding art has a "family-of-humankind" vibe, encompassing interracial and same-sex couples, old folks and babies -- an obvious statement of affirmation but also a natural choice for a book about "all the world." The West Coast seaside setting showcases not only Frazee's affectionate mix of people but also her familiar skyscapes, glowing with color and shaded with horizontal lines that lend a sense of both movement and endless connection. While the rolling hills, crisscrossed by roads and dotted with trees and houses, bring to mind Virginia Lee Burton, Frazee's palette is all her own: fresh-feeling pastels that make everything look rain-washed, faded and softened by the sun. A seashell on the title page reappears on the final page, in the hands of a girl who found it at the beach; Scanlon and Frazee seem to be saying to readers that the world is not your oyster but your seashell -- to discover, wonder at, and hold gently in your hand. All the World will win audiences with a sensibility both timeless and thoroughly modern. Copyright 2009 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2009 August #2
In flowing rhyme, Scanlon zooms outwards from smallness to bigness: "Rock, stone, pebble, sand / Body, shoulder, arm, hand / A moat to dig, / a shell to keep / All the world is wide and deep." Watercolor-and-line illustrations show several beach close-ups of siblings playing before pulling back to reveal the seashore and cove. Next: "Hive, bee, wings, hum / Husk, cob, corn, / yum! / Tomato blossom, fruit so red / All the world's a garden bed." Close-up on people tending bees and plants, then a broad double-page spread of farmstands and fields. Frazee connects all scenes with black pencil lines of shading, texture and motion. Her gift at drawing postures graces every page as multicolored families climb trees, get drenched by rain, seek a lit caf at twilight and play in a musical jam session. An occasional grumpy child and wailing baby prevents idealization, but it's hard to imagine a cozier and more spacious world. At once a lullaby and an invigorating love song to nature, families and interconnectedness. (Picture book. 2-5) Copyright Kirkus 2009 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Library Media Connection Reviews 2009 October
A farming beachside community is the setting for this meditative, moment-by-moment poem exploring the interdependency of life. The contemplative interplay between text and illustrations reveals a universal message of the natural rhythms of life through the text, and a story of small-town community relationships through the illustrations. Entrancing double-page spreads plunge the reader into a vivacious and colorful community while evoking a sense of idyllic serenity. Children can visually follow the stories of culturally-diverse community members through the illustrations, while exploring themes of self-identity and community-identity created by the hypnotic ambiance of the rhyming text. For example, the book begins with a micro focus on a familyÆs trip to the beach, including text that is specific to the scene. After following the family back to town, a macro focus illustrates the entire community, with a big-idea statement describing the world concluding the rhyme-set. Careful obse vation reveals the original beachside family hidden among the community members throughout the book. This book would be highly appropriate for use in social studies discussions of human environmental interaction. Recommended. Katie L. Henry, Teacher Candidate, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio ¬ 2009 Linworth Publishing, Inc.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2009 August #4

Tackling a topic no smaller than the world itself, Scanlon (A Sock Is a Pocket for Your Toes) and Frazee (A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever) invite children to explore a variety of its settings, starting with a beach where a young interracial family plays: "A moat to dig, a shell to keep/ All the world is wide and deep." Tucked into a corner of the scene is a farmer's market, which becomes the focus of a subsequent spread ("Tomato blossom, fruit so red/ All the world's a garden bed"). This clever linking of Frazee's blithesome watercolor and pencil-streaked illustrations echoes the book's larger goal: to show the world's connectivity. The lively verse is consistently reassuring, even as life's stumbling blocks get their moment ("Slip, trip, stumble, fall/ Tip the bucket, spill it all/ Better luck another day/ All the world goes round this way"). Frazee's warm, endearing vignettes--a mother studying with her baby, grandparents embracing in their bathrobes--are a joyous counterpart to Scanlon's text. Together they create an empathic, welcoming whole. Ages 3-7. (Sept.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2009 August

K-Gr 2--Charming illustrations and lyrical rhyming couplets speak volumes in celebration of the world and humankind, combining to create a lovely book that will be appreciated by a wide audience. The pictures, made with black Prismacolor pencil and watercolors, primarily follow a multicultural family from a summer morning on the beach through a busy day and night. A boy, his younger sister, and their parents experience a farmer's market, a lakeside pavilion, a soaking rain, a warm meal in a cozy caf, a gathering of musical kin, and a quiet night at home. The hand-lettered text in dark gray is large and mobile as it moves readers along through the captivating vignettes. Other families are also depicted, and readers can follow many of their activities as they overlap and connect with the main characters. The folks in this small, diverse community experience what a summer day has to offer, including sun, wind, storm, and a sense of contentment and well-being. A double-page moon- and starlit illustration shows an overview of all the featured locales highlighted in this small slice of the world. Perfection.--Maryann H. Owen, Racine Public Library, WI

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