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- / ISBN・EAN: 9781416985808
All the Worldの感想・レビュー・書評
091130 byあの１０冊 扉で叫んだ日
A journey in pictures and verse from an unexplored beach to a busy music-filled family room and into a tranquil, moonlit night.
When Martha Stewart was the host of an “Apprentice” spinoff a few years ago, she challenged her contestants during one episode with writing a children’s book. One team rewrote “Hansel and Gretel” with disastrous results (losing to “Jack and the Bean stalk”). “They chose to do it in a rhyme scheme, which is something that very few people can do well,” a children’s book editor observed on the show.
Liz Garton Scanlon can do it well. “All the World,” her second book, weaves a sumptuous and openhearted poem of 18 couplets over 38 pages, all revolving around the title’s singsong refrain. The verses take readers from an unexplored beach to a busy music-filled family room and into a tranquil, moonlit night. Beautifully illustrated by Marla Frazee, who won a Caldecott Honor this year for “A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever,” it’s the kind of book that will be pulled off the shelf at bedtime over and over again.
Scanlon’s celebratory verse does double duty. It’s as accessible as can be (“Everything you hear, smell, see / All the world is everything / Everything is you and me”) while offering stealth challenges to small readers: “Tree, trunk, branch, crown / Climbing up and sitting down.” The crown in this case is not golden, jeweled and worn on the head, it’s leafy and green. The challenges never seem to get in the way, and the soothing stanzas echo almost like a secular prayer.
Many of the full-spread illustrations capture entire landscapes, evoking the whoosh and crash of a cresting wave against a rocky shore or a pond in a rainstorm at dusk, rowboats abandoned. They playfully mingle with the text, at times coyly hiding objects around corners and far off in the distance. (I’m still searching for a wooden raft, actually.) The real attraction, though, is that the muted-color illustrations go beyond Scanlon’s poem, ensuring that either a 15th or a 50th look at a rainy scene, which bears only the words “All the world goes round this way,” also offers puddles, raindrops, a bridge, boats, a ball, benches and, in turn, several side stories to be imagined.
The drawback, of course, may be that “All the World” is just too beautiful. Any good story involves conflict, and here there is none. Also, there’s no Hattie or Hank — we never learn anyone’s name, though we get a vague sense of a family of several generations. In the end, though, the book expresses the philosophy that early readers most need to hear: there’s humanity everywhere. The world of abstract concepts — love, nature, history, happiness, joy, beauty — is often the most difficult to show to children. Scanlon and Frazee offer a rewarding, even rhyming, step toward it.
Andrew Bast reports on politics and culture for Newsweek.
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