All the World by Liz Garton Scanlon, illustrated by Marla Frazee - Book Review

Magical. In a nutshell.

From the moment I opened the amazing promotional box through the minutes spent with the exquisite All the World, to the video describing Simon & Schuster's new imprint, Beach Lane Books, each second had a magical quality that makes those of us who love children’s books swoon. Though it won’t be published until September, I just couldn’t wait to tell readers about this fantastic book.

All the World follows the simple day of a family. The four begin at the beach, wander in their cool red pickup truck to a farmer’s market, stop at a park where rain ruins the fun, enjoy dinner in a cozy restaurant and end the day at their grandparent's home with a slew of extended family.

Simple. Not so much.

Mixed within that simplicity is a message of the beauty in the everyday. A message to take note, to look around and relish in the glow of a good dinner, the love of community, the arms of a grandparent, the fun of playing with your cousin. The softly brush-stroked artwork of illustrator Marla Frazee is stunning. It flows from page to page with the same hidden depth as the story, especially beautiful in multicultural and multigenerational interpretation.

Wake up Caldecott committee! All the World needs to be on your short list.

This is perhaps my favorite picture book published in the last few years (knocking Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed right off its pedestal). Great picture books subscribe to the Sendak school of thought, “...that there's something living underneath it... When you hide another story in a story, that’s the story I am telling the children” (source: Rosenbach Museum Video). All the World, with its subtle message to enjoy the beauty in the everyday and magnificently complementary illustrations, hits the beach ball squarely in Sendak’s court.

Recommended for all elementary classroom & library purchases as well as for art and language arts instructors in all grade levels. No higher recommendation will come from this reading educator.

-------------------- Resources --------------------

Genre: Picture Book. Age: Beginning & Elementary Readers. Pages: 40.

Themes: Love, Family, Appreciation of Life
Publisher: Beach Lane Books. Date: September 2009

Preorder All the World Here (available September 8, 2009)

Look at the beautiful presentation Beach Lane Books sent! Description from publisher:

All the world is here.

It is there.

It is everywhere.

All the world is right where you are.


Here's a video from their website explaining the goals for their new endeavor:

Here's the link to author Liz Garton Scanlon's Live Journal Page

Here's the link to illustrator Marla Frazee's Website (wanna-be illustrators should definitely check it out!)
© 2007-2009 Cheryl Vanatti for
Review also posted as National Reading Examiner.

Bookmark and Share