An intimate musing on the nature of space.
A child marvels that at each stage of life, while growing, there always seems to be enough room: in the womb, for many stuffed animals squeezed into bed, for all the books in the library, and even for all the stars in the sky. Life may be crowded at times (the tot’s parents playfully curl around the perimeter of the frame with hopelessly long limbs), but there is always intentional space kept around the child. However, when the child grows up, space becomes a commodity. People begin to fight, whether that be for personal space on a bus, vocational space (to find one’s place in a company), over bathroom use, or in the geopolitical sphere—two tanks face off. The narrator poses a solution: “If we are kinder, and if we love each other then, in this beautiful world, there’s room for everyone.” Here, Iranian author/illustrator Teymorian’s characters are no longer stooped and curled but instead stand upright and happy. With so many people forcibly displaced from their homes throughout the world, one can only hope this message of kindness is heard. Such a strong global wish is in stark contrast to the lack of racial diversity in the illustrations. A few shades of skin are offered, but the majority present white.
Gentle political commentary reminds everyone about the power of kindness but is itself incomplete. (Picture book. 4-8)