“The story’s tempo segues to a gentler, lulling tone at the end, soothing readers into a peaceful mindset, making the book a perfect end for the day.” —Booklist
“Addressing readers who are likely to draw inspiration from the outdoors, Thomas’s exhortations celebrate both natural beauty and human virtue in a kind of gentle eco-theology.” —Publishers Weekly
From a child’s point of view, this lyrical picture book looks at the relationship of nature to the human world and the place we call home.
From the edge of the sea to a high mountain top, everything has its place in the world and all living things are connected. The world around us has a lot to tell us if we take the time to look and listen. This tender and comforting picture book celebrates the wisdom in many of the things great and small that make up our wonderful world.
Shelley Moore Thomas is the author of the Good Knight series of picture books and easy readers. In addition to writing books, she works as an elementary teacher and as a professional storyteller. Ms. Thomas lives with her family and dogs in Oceanside, California.
Christopher Silas Neal is an award-winning illustrator and author who regularly contributes to The New York Times, The New Yorker, and creates book covers for various publishers. He has directed short animated videos for Kate Spade and Anthropologie and was awarded a medal from the Society of Illustrators for his work in motion graphics. He illustrated the acclaimed picture books Over and Under the Snow and Lifetime, both of which explore the natural world. Over and Under the Snow, with author Kate Messner was praised for its “stunning retro-style illustrations” (The New York Times), was a 2011 New York Times Editor’s Choice and won an E.B. White Honor Award in 2012. He recently contributed art to the New York Times bestseller Goodnight Songs, which is a collection of poems by author of Goodnight Moon, Margaret Wise Brown.
Illustrated by Neal (Everyone) with serene, spacious landscapes, lyrical free verse by Thomas (This Book Is Not About Dragons) explores lessons to be found in the natural world. One voice narrates, but many children appear in the spreads. “Trees show me how to stand tall./ Even when the wind/ tries to blow me down,/ I dance with the breeze./ I do not fall.” Neal draws a tree in a gale, its leaves scattering. A girl in a blue dress stands underneath it, arching her body to the side with a sweet smile on her face, long black pigtails blowing in the breeze. Often, in Neal’s spreads, the majesty of the natural world (the moon, a mountain, bees foregrounded on a page) dwarfs the humans who populate it. In one striking image, the figures of an adult and child in a tiny boat are seen from above, the shadow of a mammoth whale visible below (“Whales show me the wonder/ of big things and small things”). Addressing readers who are likely to draw inspiration from the outdoors, Thomas’s exhortations celebrate both natural beauty and human virtue in a kind of gentle eco-theology. -- Publishers Weekly
– Publishers Weekly, November 26, 2018
Thomas, author of the Good Knight series, here offers a series of contemplative, lyrical meditations tied to mindfulness and appreciation of the wonders of the world. In each vignette, an observation is narrated by a diverse cast of children. The narratives demonstrate that there are many parallels between the self and things in nature, such as trees, rocks, oceans, the sun, clouds, bees, baby birds, soil, cats, whales, and the moon. Closing on the message "just open your eyes and you will find it," this encourages readers to find inspiration everywhere. In Neal's sumptuous illustrations, the soft, boldly colored scenes feature a wide variety of recognizable environments and snapshot-like images of children serenely enjoying nature. The story's tempo segues to a gentler, lulling tone at the end, soothing readers into a peaceful mindset, making the book a perfect end for the day. For more explorations of mindfulness, pair this with Susan Verde's I Am Peace (2017), Kate Messner's Over and Under the Pond (2017), or Julian Lennon's Touch the Earth (2017). — Vivian Alvarez -- Booklist