At the Edge of the Universe: All the World by Liz Garton Scanlon and Marla Frazee



This book won Cybils Fiction Picture Book Award in 2009. I thought that it would be great to check out previous year’s winners and see whether I can discern any recurring themes across fiction picture books, at least.

A day in the Life of a Child. This book is an easy read with rhyming text and gorgeous illustrations that would make one go ooh and aah, filled with tiny little details that make up a single, not-even-an-eventful day as seen through the eyes of a child. As the author mentions words such as

“Hive, bee, wings, hum

Husk, cob, corn, yum!

Tomato blossom,

fruit so red”


one is able to imagine its crisp imagery, and the author skillfully shows the reader how each one is interwoven, connected somehow in some meaningful way: “All the world’s a garden bed.”

The [seemingly-random] words that keep the world together. In one of Leonard Marcus’ keynote presentations here in Singapore during the Asian Festival of Children’s Content, he explained how Margaret Wise Brown’s Goodnight, Moon signifies all the familiar things in a child’s eye that depict the elements of home – and the meticulous care through which the seemingly-random words are plucked and filtered and painstakingly put together to paint a canvas of truth that a child can resonate with – such is the power and the aching beauty of this book.


Nothing is superfluous as the words are distilled into absolute perfection such that it communicates the barest essence of its message: “All the world is you and me.” While I felt that the reader can do without the very obvious “Hope and peace and love and trust” in the end, one can somehow deduce that without it being too neatly spelled out, it remains a powerful read that shows how everything is linked together in oh-so-beautiful ways.

Teacher resources. For teachers who wish to make use of this in the classroom, here is a downloadable pdf link created by Natalie Dias Lorenzi found in Liz Garton Scanlon’s website. It is a 16-page curriculum guide for teachers that includes a list of discussion questions, student activities, and printable colorful charts among others. Here is the book trailer that would give you an idea of what the book is about. Enjoy!

All the World by Liz Garton Scanlon and Caldecott Honor Medalist Marla Frazee. Published by Beach Lane Books, 2009. Book borrowed from the public library. Book photos taken by me.


CYBILS Fiction Picture Book Winner, 2009, Winner of 2010 Caldecott Honor, A New York Times Best Book of 2009, A Publisher’s Weekly Best Book of 2009, A Kirkus Best Book of 2009, A School LIbrary Journal Best Book of 2009, A Parents’ Choice Gold Award, A 2010 Indies Choice Honor Award

AWB Reading Challenge Update: 6 of 35


A: All the World

A-Z Challenge Update: 8 of 26 (A, H, W, X, V, I, L, T)


Read-a-Latte Challenge: 12 of 150

1 Comment on At the Edge of the Universe: All the World by Liz Garton Scanlon and Marla Frazee

  1. One of my fave PBs of all time! Such a classic. Love your review :)!


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