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Richie's Picks: ALL THE WORLD, September 16, 2009

All the World
I've been reading ALL THE WORLD aloud, over and over, and over, while gazing at the illustrations, and getting more and more excited about its interplay of melodic text and stunning illustrations in which people young and old, are working and playing in harmony with the Earth and each other. Throughout the book they are connected to the birds, the bees, the rocks, the flowers, the sky, and the sea..."Rock, stone, pebble, sandBody, shoulder, arm, handA moat to dig, a shell to keepAll the world is wide and deep."There are nine easy-to-recite-aloud stanzas to the poem that comprises the text of ALL THE WORLD. The poetry and images lead us through an idyllic day of surf and sandcastles; community-based agriculture; tree-climbing and bike-riding; and an incoming, late-afternoon downpour that sends everyone scuttling to the shelter of a cafe nestled among big trees. A post-storm quiet dusk becomes the prelude to a joyful evening when all the book's...

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I've been reading ALL THE WORLD aloud, over and over, and over, while gazing at the illustrations, and getting more and more excited about its interplay of melodic text and stunning illustrations in which people young and old, are working and playing in harmony with the Earth and each other. Throughout the book they are connected to the birds, the bees, the rocks, the flowers, the sky, and the sea..."Rock, stone, pebble, sandBody, shoulder, arm, handA moat to dig, a shell to keepAll the world is wide and deep."There are nine easy-to-recite-aloud stanzas to the poem that comprises the text of ALL THE WORLD. The poetry and images lead us through an idyllic day of surf and sandcastles; community-based agriculture; tree-climbing and bike-riding; and an incoming, late-afternoon downpour that sends everyone scuttling to the shelter of a cafe nestled among big trees. A post-storm quiet dusk becomes the prelude to a joyful evening when all the book's...
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not to mention ART. The illustrations in this book are exceptional. There is so much to like about this book in how it speaks directly to a child's natural curiosity about the world and it's inhabitants.1. The first section of the book deals with a child's connection to nature (seashore, garden, trees, gusting winds leading into summer showers) focusing on a brother and sister as they interact with the world around them.2. The summer shower becomes the transition from the world of nature to the children's connection with the world of human beings as they enter into a intimate and cozy restaurant for supper. In this section the people we've been seeing in the background of previous illustrations become larger.3. People of various cultures are seen eating and working together (in the restaurant kitchen) and then playing musical instruments in the home of the children who are the focal characters in the story.There is so much about this...
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Plus: Some of the illustrations are stunning. They remind me of the work of Virginia Lee Burton (Mike Mulligan, etc.). They have that old-fashioned, soothing pastel feel. The message is comforting as well: the whole "we are one with the universe" theme plays throughout. Also, they have made the family multiracial. The mom is white and the father is (my guess) African-American; the kids are multiracial. This makes it a better choice for libraries than some of the classics.Minus: the reading level is listed here as 9 to 12. But really, this is a read-aloud book for younger children (kindergarten and below). Some pages only have a few words. Older children would probably enjoy it also, for the message and beautiful pictures---but once would likely be enough. Also, because of the layout, some of the pictures that go with the words don't appear until you turn the page. That means new readers won't be able to use the pictures to help decode the words.Conclusion:...
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