All the world

Elizabeth Garton Scanlon

Book - 2009

Follow a circle of family and friends through the course of a day from morning till night as they discover the importance of all things great and small in our world, from the tiniest shell on the beach, to warm family connections, to the widest sunset sky.

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Picture books
New York : Beach Lane Books/Simon & Schuster 2009.
Main Author
Elizabeth Garton Scanlon (-)
Other Authors
Marla Frazee (illustrator)
1st ed
Physical Description
unpaged : col. ill. ; 29 cm
Contents unavailable.
Review by New York Times Review

WHEN Martha Stewart was the host of an "Apprentice" spinoff a few years ago, she challenged her contestants during one episode with writing a children's book. One team rewrote "Hansel and Gretel" with disastrous results (losing to "Jack and the Beanstalk"). "They chose to do it in a rhyme scheme, which is something that very few people can do well," a children's book editor observed on the show. Liz Garton Scanlon can do it well. "All the World," her second book, weaves a sumptuous and openhearted poem of 18 couplets over 38 pages, all revolving around the title's singsong refrain. The verses take readers from an unexplored beach to a busy music-filled family room and into a tranquil, moonlit night. Beautifully illustrated by Maria Frazee, who won a Caldecott Honor this year for "A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever," it's the kind of book that will be pulled off the shelf at bedtime over and over again. Scanlon's celebratory verse does double duty. It's as accessible as can be ("Everything you hear, smell, see/All the world is everything/Everything is you and me") while offering stealth challenges to small readers: "Tree, trunk, branch, crown/Climbing up and sitting down." The crown in this case is not golden, jeweled and worn on the head, it's leafy and green. The challenges never seem to get in the way, and the soothing stanzas echo almost like a secular prayer. Many of the full-spread illustrations capture entire landscapes, evoking the whoosh and crash of a cresting wave against a rocky shore or a pond in a rainstorm at dusk, rowboats abandoned. They playfully mingle with the text, at times coyly hiding objects around corners and far off in the distance. (I'm still searching for a wooden raft, actually.) The real attraction, though, is that the muted-color illustrations go beyond Scanlon's poem, ensuring that either a 15th or a 50th look at a rainy scene, which bears only the words "All the world goes round this way," also offers puddles, raindrops, a bridge, boats, a ball, benches and, in turn, several side stories to be imagined. The drawback, of course, may be that "All the World" is just too beautiful. Any good story involves conflict, and here there is none. Also, there's no Hattie or Hank - we never learn anyone's name, though we get a vague sense of a family of several generations. In the end, though, the book expresses the philosophy that early readers most need to hear: there's humanity everywhere. The world of abstract concepts - love, nature, history, happiness, joy, beauty - is often the most difficult to show to children. Scanlon and Frazee offer a rewarding, even rhyming, step toward it. Andrew Bast reports on politics and culture for Newsweek.

Copyright (c) The New York Times Company [November 26, 2009]
Review by Booklist Review

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.--Kraus, Daniel Copyright 2009 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

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.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by School Library Journal Review

Baby/Toddler-Scanlon's beautiful, award-winning ode to a child's universe is a picture book classic in the making. This shrunken-down board book includes the poetic text in its entirety and Frazee's appealing spot art and stunning spreads. The simple joys and wonder of childhood are tenderly captured as well as the inevitable challenges. "Slip, trip, stumble, fall/Tip the bucket, spill it all/Better luck another day/All the world/goes round this way." A perfect, portable bit of family life to take along on any journey, easily tucked into a backpack or diaper bag. © Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Horn Book Review

(Preschool, Primary) 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. From HORN BOOK, (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review

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 Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.