Saturday, January 26, 2019

Review - Everything is Connected

Everything is Connected
by Jason Gruhl
illustrated by Ignasi Font
Date: 2019
Publisher: Bala Kids
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book non-fiction
Pages: 36
Format: e-book
Source: NetGalley

A magical meditation on the powerful idea that we are connected to everything and everyone.

Playful illustrations and funny, rhyming text show readers all of the many ways we are linked to every big, small, hairy, slimy, snuggly, scaly, floppy, flappy, bristly, buzzy, beautiful creature on Earth.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

This is kind of a neat book, although I think the title may have missed the mark a little bit. The basic premise is that you are connected to everything, so while the title isn't necessarily inaccurate, it doesn't quite reflect what most of the book is about.

The idea that we're all connected to the world around us is one I have seen in picture books before (though not very often). This book has some cute illustrations to drive home the point, including a line that travels across all the pages, interacting with some of the drawings it meets along the way. I liked this visual representation of connection.

The writing was a little weird for me, though. Most of the book is done in rhyme, and the meter is pretty good. But there are also some sections where the rhyme doesn't exist, and I thought those bits kind of interrupted the flow. There was also the implication that chicken pox was something created by people (it was included on the page of things humans have made), so that threw me a little. (I'm thinking maybe the author was in love with the rhyme at that point and couldn't come up with something else that would've fit seamlessly into the verse.)

Overall, though, this is an okay book about interconnectedness. I found it a little repetitive, and there's no mention of how things are connected (this was apparently intentional, according to the author's note). Some kids may get bored reading what is essentially a rhyming list. But others may enjoy reading about all the things they're connected to. The illustrations are vibrant and colourful, and they emphasize the text nicely. It might be a little esoteric for some, but the intention in writing this book seems to have been a good one, and you can feel that as you read through the pages.

Thank you to NetGalley and Bala Kids for providing a digital ARC.

Premise: 3/5
Meter: 3/5
Writing: 4/5
Illustrations: 4/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 3/5

Overall: 3.43 out of 5

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