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  • Ratha Tep

Interview with Liz Garton Scanlon, ALL THE WORLD

Following a circle of family and friends through the course of a day from morning until night, this book affirms the importance of all things great and small in our world, from the tiniest shell on the beach, to the warmth of family connections, to the widest sunset sky.


Written by Liz Garton Scanlon and illustrated by Marla Frazee

Publisher: Little Simon (August 18, 2015)

What inspired you to write All the World? LGS: "At its heart, All the World is a simple list poem of some of the things -- both little and big -- that I love about the world. As I was composing the list, it occurred to me that a lot of other people probably loved the same things and in many ways, it's those things we have in common -- those things we love in common -- that connect us. That's how the list took a leap into something bigger, at least for me and my understanding."

Rhyme is so tricky to get right. What are some of your favorite picture books in rhyme? "My hands-down all time favorite rhyming text is The Seven Silly Eaters by Mary Ann Hoberman and illustrated by Marla Frazee. How Hoberman sustained that rhyme across the whole (long-ish, complex, funny, loving) story and never once took the easy way out or compromised heart or humor for a word that would just work? Incredible."

Surely ALL THE WORLD belongs on a list of modern classics. What are some recent picture books that you hope will make that list as well? "Oh, thank you. That's really touching, to think of it resonating over time like that. I have a list a mile long of books that feel unique and heart centered and important to me. Some of my more recent favorites are Thank You, Omu by Oge Mora, A House That Once Was by Julie Fogliano and Lane Smith, The Farmer and the Clown by Marla Frazee, Evelyn Del Rey is Moving Away by Meg Medina and Sonia Sánchez, A Big Mooncake for Little Star by Grace Lin, and You Matter by Christian Robinson."

All the World is so soothing, like a gorgeous lullaby. It's perfect for a bedtime story. What are some of your favorite picture books for bedtime reading? "When my babies were babies, I'd close my eyes and intone Goodnight, Moon by Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd. (I took advantage of any chance I could to close my eyes.) But I wish Little Owl's Night by Divya Srinivasan had been out in those days. It's such a lovely bedtime read."

Do you remember what you loved reading to your children at age three? At age five? "Oh, gosh. Nostalgia hit! When they were three, The Napping House by Audrey Wood and Don Wood was a favorite, and years later I published my own loosely-cumulative story (Kate, Who Tamed the Wind) inspired by the structure of that book. We were also obsessed with The Elephant and the Bad Baby by Elfrida Vipont and Raymond Briggs, and Each Peach Pear Plum by Janet and Allan Ahlburg. By the time they were 5, we loved Farmer Duck by Martin Waddell and Helen Oxenbury. We all still quack when asked, by each other, 'How goes the work?'"


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