EVERYTHING IS CONNECTED by Jason Gruhl

EVERYTHING IS CONNECTED

by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 6 - 10
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A single line swirls, connecting objects, people, and even planets.

The author begins with literal connections and then moves outward: We are connected to our bodies, to others, to animals, and to all things humans have created. We may feel proud of some of these creations, but others may give us pause, such as poverty, greed, and lies. The author acknowledges that being human can sometimes feel like quite a mess! We are even declared connected to “Jesus and Buddha, Muhammad and Moses,” who are each shown in portraits, a geometric image standing in for the representation of Muhammad. What exactly this connection is or means, however, remains abstract and ambiguous. An unfortunate drawback is that the text often gets in its own way. At some points a seemingly rigid adherence to rhyme comes at the expense of sense; in others the rhyme structure is abandoned. This makes for a confused read-aloud. Still, the book generally succeeds at what seems to be its objective—to spark questions and conversations. The clean-lined illustrations have a surreal quality, appropriately matched to the subject matter. Human figures are shown in silhouette or with unrealistic skin tones, like paper white, jet black, and shadowy green. The thread of the single line woven throughout the illustrations adds a helpful, literal representation of connection, though it’s an idea that may be a bit too abstruse for the intended audience.

A worthy attempt to make an ineffable concept accessible to a young audience. (Picture book. 6-10)

Pub Date: Feb. 5th, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-61180-631-1
Page count: 36pp
Publisher: Bala Kids/Shambhala
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 2018




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