Books International Literatura Europa Non-fiction Wednesday Nonfiction Picture Books Reading Themes

[Nonfiction Wednesday] A French Concept Picturebook on Gestalts in Elisa Gehin’s “One And All”


Myra here.

We are delighted to join the Nonfiction Picture Book meme 2017 hosted by Alyson Beecher @ Kid Lit Frenzy. We would also be linking our nonfiction choices with our reading themes throughout the year.

I continue to be amazed at how modern picturebooks, particularly the ones coming from Europe, continue to break boundaries, with increasing complexity and sophistication, such as this concept picturebook by French artist Elisa Gehin.

One And All

Written and Illustrated by: Élisa Géhin
Published by: Abrams, 2016. First published in French in 2013. ISBN: 1419719041 (ISBN13: 9781419719042)
Bought a copy of the book. Book photos taken by me.

One of the things that I recommend to parents whose children struggle with associative thinking is to look for picturebooks that are exactly like this. It seems like Gehin has read what is on my mind and created exactly the picturebook that would help young readers who struggle with forming categories.

As you can see in the image above, each page shows how one can be part of many, which is then part of something bigger, as the page opens to another image that captures the first two concepts:

One of the strengths of this book is its interactive quality that invites the reader to open up the garbage can to see the world of garbage dump where all the garbage cans can then be found. Hence, it starts with something small, expanding into something big, then enveloped by something even bigger. My favourite, though, being the bibliophile that I am is the one below:

It is a perfect picturebook to show how things are interconnected, how categories are formed, and how ultimately the sum is bigger than the sum of its parts. This is a brilliantly-conceived picturebook that you should definitely add to your library.

Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Singapore. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she serves as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads or meeting up with her book club friends, she is smashing that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life.

1 comment on “[Nonfiction Wednesday] A French Concept Picturebook on Gestalts in Elisa Gehin’s “One And All”

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