"People make sense of their lives in different ways," author Jason Gruhl tells us on his website. "Some use facts, others use faith, and still others create a unique lens all their own — but there is something that connects all beings, a force that animates, illuminates, and potentiates." Illustrator Ignasi Font carries forward this philosophy, starting with a line that loops down from the upper left of the title-page spread and continues all the way to the lower right, where a pencil is in the process of drawing.
The line continues across the 36 pages which remind children that "since you are part of everything, you are connected to everything." Sometimes it takes the form of two hands in outline, their little fingers joined, as Gruhl writes about family connections that show we're bigger than our bodies. The line becomes the bottom of a screen that shows newscasters (mostly human, but including a rabbit and a panda) from around the world. It ties a bow around the earth while Gruhl observes, "You're connected to every human on earth ... wow!"
The pages reveal a potpourri of things to which we're connected, many of them fanciful like hedgehogs and blobfish. Gruhl wraps them in language with a Dr.-Seuss-like rhyme and rhythm:
"You're not just connected to things that you like —
Things that are comfortable, easy, or nice.
As a human, you're part of the everything-ness.
And sometimes it's scary and a big ugly mess."
Gruhl does not shy away from chicken pox, bullies, pollution, and greed. But he also does not fail to say, in counter-balance, that we are filled with a force that's powerful, timeless, and "wow-erful."
In addition to the meaningful touch of the line that runs through and connects this book's pages, Ignasi Font gives us charming dinosaurs and paper airplanes, robots and DNA, even "aliens with noses like hoses" to hold young readers' interest and spur questions for further exploration. Children ages four to eight years old will get the most out of this book.