All Around Us
All Around Us

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Annotation: Finding circles everywhere, a grandfather and his granddaughter meditate on the cycles of life and nature.
Catalog Number: #160060
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Copyright Date: 2017
Edition Date: 2017
Illustrator: Garcia, Adriana M.,
Pages: 32
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 1-941026-76-1 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-1069-6
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-941026-76-2 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-1069-5
Dewey: E
LCCN: 2017014877
Dimensions: 22 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
A young girl with Native American and Spanish heritage learns from her grandfather that circles are all around us. The moon, clocks, wheels, and the sun are all common circles we see almost every day, though we may not notice them. Grandfather points out that a rainbow is only half a circle; the other half is under the surface, representing that what comes from the earth goes back into it again, creating a circle of life. The warm relationship the two share is evident as the girl happily absorbs the lessons, often spiritual in nature, that her grandpa teaches. Garcia's colorful mixed-media illustrations reveal images placed upon paintings with what appears to be chalk, pen and ink, and colored pencil. A circle motif, including the arcing of the text, highlights almost every spread, emphasizing the prevalence of the shape. Joyce Sidman's Swirl by Swirl: Spirals in Nature (2011) can be used as a companion title that also teaches about the pervasiveness of common shapes in nature.
Kirkus Reviews
In González and Garcia's picture-book debut, a girl and her grandfather reflect on the cycles that characterize life, death, and renewal. "Grandpa says circles are all around us." Above the girl's head, a rainbow stretches across the sky, a vibrant half circle. The other half? It's beneath the Earth, unseen, nourishing. With this modest declaration, González asks readers to rethink the world as one full of unceasing rebirth. A clearer example of this viewpoint soon follows. In the garden, Grandpa and the girl tend to their lettuce, carrots, and chiles, with the resulting stems, leaves, and seeds going back into the ground. "What we take from the earth we return," says Grandpa. Measured and subdued, the bare-bones story demands patience, which may irk readers with a preference for livelier stories, but the author's direct approach and light touch soften the otherwise weighty subject matter. Faded, sketched lines and arcs of dense light enclose the girl and Grandpa (both depicted with golden-brown skin) in half-formed and fully formed circles from picture to picture, while shadows and colors intertwine with people and the scenes around them. On a smaller scale, the duo notes how circles shape their bellies as well as their eyes. Yet it's the final scene—a girl and her grandfather sitting near the buried ashes of their ancestors—that brings everything full circle. In her author's note, González, a member of the Auteca Paguame family of the Tap Pilam Coahuitecan nation, references her, and by extension her characters', mestizo heritage. Life-affirming in its quiet splendor. (author's note) (Picture book. 3-7)
Publishers Weekly
A girl and her grandfather contemplate circles, both physical and metaphorical, in this thought-provoking tale of family, community, and interconnection, a debut for both author and artist. As they walk through a suburban neighborhood of shingled houses and chain-link fences, the grandfather suggests that a rainbow overhead is actually a full circle: -The rest of it is down below, in the earth, where water and light feed new life.- Soon, the girl is noticing circles everywhere, including the roundness of their eyes and the way her grandfather -saves the stems, leaves, and seeds- of the vegetables they grow to rebury. -What we take from the earth, we return,- he tells her. On several pages, González-s text follows soaring arcs itself, and circular shapes dominate Garcia-s multilayered illustrations. Her tender portraits highlight the intimate bond between the narrator and her grandfather, while bright, zigzagging lines create a setting that hums with energy, underscoring a connection between people and planet. The family-s mestizo heritage is central to the story, including a tradition of burying a mother-s placenta when a child is born, which the author-s note discusses in more detail. Ages 3-7. (Sept.)

Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
ALA Booklist (11/1/17)
Kirkus Reviews
Pura Belpre Honor
Publishers Weekly
Wilson's Children's Catalog
Word Count: 379
Reading Level: 2.8
Interest Level: K-3
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 2.8 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 196417 / grade: Lower Grades
Lexile: AD680L
Guided Reading Level: X

" All Around Us begs to be shared over and over. The use of lines and strokes conveys energy, spirit, magic. And I love the way it connects us all to the idea that we come from inside, from the earth, from something gentle and primal, and that is where go back to--and we better take care of it."-- Yuyi Morales "A transcendent, perfectly gorgeous book, as magical as childhood feels in its best times. Rich, warm, comforting words and images to hold closely in your mind."-- Naomi Shihab Nye ALSC Notable Children's Book 2018 Pura Belpré Illustrator Honor Book 2018 American Indian Youth Literature Award: Picture Book Honor Grandpa says circles are all around us. He points to the rainbow that rises high in the sky after a thundercloud has come. "Can you see? That's only half of the circle. That rest of it is down below, in the earth." He and his granddaughter meditate on gardens and seeds, on circles seen and unseen, inside and outside us, on where our bodies come from and where they return to. They share and create family traditions in this stunning exploration of the cycles of life and nature. This is a debut picture book for Xelena Gonzalez and Adriana Garcia.

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