I am a drooling, rabid Marla Frazee fan. I love sharing the illustrations in Everywhere Babies and I still maintain that the reason so many children pick up Sara Pennypacker’s Clementine is less becuase they intuitively know that the writing is fabulous and more because they are unerringly drawn towards Marla Frazee’s brilliant cover illustration.
So it’s no surprise that I am thrilled to see a new picture book illustrated by the Caldecott Honor artist. All the World, which was written by Liz Garton Scanlon is a fairly typical poem about how we are all both a part of the world and the world entire. It scans, it doesn’t strain to rhyme, and it creates a nice flow rather than seeming tacked on because “kids like rhymes”, all the main attributes I want in a rhyming picture book. The second to last page seems to have an extra stanza that interferes with the scan, but when I read this book in story time, I’ll simply skip that line and all will be fine. What makes the book stand out for me are the gorgeous illustrations.
Marla Frazee’s recognizable style is out in force. A large castspends the day in typical activities, from an early morning beach stroll to a rainy afternoon and a gorgeous sunset. Looking just at the illustrations, there are several stories going on here: a grandfather spends the day with his three grandchildren, an older couple bikes around the town, two young families are out and about for the day. The illustrations are almost perfect, you can see the fondness and affection these family members feel for one another.