All the World

All the World

by Liz Garton Scanlon, Illustrated by Marla Frazee

2009 Beach Lane Books


This is one of my all-time favorite picture books, for so many reasons. The poetic words and luminous illustrations combine to form a dreamlike, special world where all of us belong.

A family enjoys a day at the beach, farmers gather at the market, a crowd rushes into a café to escape the rain, people play music and share meals. So much simple goodness.

Liz Garton Scanlon’s words read like poetry and express the most beautiful sentiments.

“Nest, bird, feather, fly

All the world has got its sky.”


“Nana’s, papa’s cousins, kin

Piano, harp and violin

Babies passed from neck to knee

All the world is you and me”

Every page bursts with Marla Frazee’s gorgeous illustrations from the ocean cliffs, to the pouring rain, and each brilliant phase of the night sky.

My favorite scene is the illustration of the sun setting and the words, “All the world can hold quite still.” When the words and the illustrations meet in perfect harmony like this, it casts its spell on you and makes one want to read it in a hushed reverent tone. It’s magical.

“Hope and peace and love and trust. All the world is all of us.”

This book makes me happy. It renews my faith in a world where all are welcome and loved and connected, and where the seemingly hardest things, like peace, are still possible.