Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : Books : Picture Books
All of Me! A Book of Thanks

All of Me! A Book of Thanks

Fall 2009 Picture Books
Ages: 3 - 5 yrs.
Author: Molly Bang
Illustrator: Molly Bang
ISBN: 9780545044240
Hardcover Price: $16.99
A brown-skinned, gender-neutral child romps, wrestles, and rolls with a big orange cat, all the while giving thanks for feet, arms, elbows, head and so on. One could almost be tempted to dub this enumeration of the physical, intellectual, and spiritual aspects of life an "ode to human-ness", except that the text is so determinedly un-ode-like, so deliberately earth-bound. Given the child-centered nature of the topic and the age of the intended audience, this approach is every bit as appropriate as the humble nature of the media Bang chooses for her illustrations: paper bags, crayons, and photo-collage. As the books progresses, the scope broadens from the tangible to the sensory ("I hear honking, singing, barking, and laughing.") to the emotional ("...I feel curious, and excited, and angry, and brave, and sad, and scared, and shy, and happy.") to the philosophical ("...I also know that I am part of this whole world-this universe!"). Whether very young readers will understand (and sit still for) the whole journey is a question, but the bold colors and sensuous textures of the illustrations go a long way toward creating a sense of deeply felt joy and abiding love. Families who share this book will understand that cherishing each other is the force that binds the universe together.
Kristi Elle Jemtegaard   ©2009 Parents' Choice
Kristi Elle Jemtegaard is the Coordinator of Youth Services for the Arlington Public Library system. She has taught courses on children’s and young adult literature at the Catholic University of America and the University of Virginia. She has served on both the Newbery and Caldecott Award Committees of the American Library Association and has chaired the Notable Children’s Recordings Committee and the May Hill Arbuthnot Award Committee. She is a member and past president of the Children’s Book Guild of Washington DC and has chaired the Washington Post–Book Guild Nonfiction Award Committee. She is a founding member of Capitol Choices, an organization of professionals in the field of children’s literature in the greater Washington DC area. She regularly reviews children’s literature and audio productions for a variety of national publications.

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