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All Around Us

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  312 ratings  ·  87 reviews
Circles are all around us. We just have to look for them. Sometimes they exist in the most unusual places.

Grandpa says circles are all around us. He points to the rainbow that rises high in the sky after a thundercloud has come. “Can you see? That’s only half of the circle. That rest of it is down below, in the earth.” He and his granddaughter meditate on gardens and seeds
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Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 12th 2017 by Cinco Puntos Press
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Abigail
Nov 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Readers Looking for Picture-Books That Provoke Discussion
A young girl learns about the circular nature of all life in this lovely picture-book from first time author/illustrator team Xelena González and Adriana M. Garcia. Through her time with her grandfather, who talks about the circles all around them - the rainbow in the sky, their use of the earth for gardening, the cycles of life and death in their own family, the cultivation of the apple tree planted when she was born - the girl gains a better understanding of the world around her, and of her pl ...more
Cheryl
Nov 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Beautiful. Probably more engaging to those with stronger eyes who can see all the details. The text and theme are important and interesting, too. Universal, and also particular to the mestizos, as explained in the author's note.
Kris
Apr 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
I read a lot of picture books. So I am always happy to find one that is utterly original and worthwhile. This is one of those. In simple, age-appropriate language, it explores concepts of birth and death and taking from the earth and returning to the earth and the circular nature of life. It challenges the linear view present in so many children’s books with timelines. And bonus points from my birth-loving self for the mention of burying the placenta after a baby is born. Just beautiful.
Angela
Aug 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Culturally relevant, important and beautiful. Once you've read it, let's talk about it!
Brian Duffy
I found a text-to-text connection in this book. The connection is a bit "out there" but I believe it is well worth it. In All Around Us the illustrations draw the world as many circles. The world within this book is dependent on being circular. In the comic book The Multiversity: Pax Americana a politician had an epiphany that the entire world relies on a pattern. If you know that pattern you can manipulate it and help usher in world peace. That pattern was an infinity symbol, or a figure "8" de ...more
Nina
Jun 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A girl is told by her grandfather that circles, both physical and metaphorical, are all around us. They begin to walk around their neighborhood, taking in the world, looking for circles.
For this book, I chose the Text-To-Self Strategy. The intimate bond between the girl and her grandfather reminds me of my own relationship with my grandfather. In many ways, my grandfather opened my eyes to the world in ways that I never viewed it before. For example, I remember a time when I was younger and I h
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Jennifer (JenIsNotaBookSnob)
May 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018picturebooks
A pretty book about family traditions. Not particularly wordy, so easy to share with young/impatient children.

It wasn't a huge standout for me, which was a bit of a disappointment as I was excited for this one. It's still very decent and offers some variety in culture which is important.

I'm not sure what it was missing, but, it wasn't quite everything I'd hoped it would be. I need to stop reading reviews before reading the books, I feel that those get me overhyped. I probably would have really
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Carmen
Text to Self

This story was about a little girl and her grandfather. The grandfather is teaching his granddaughter about the circle of life and how everything is a circle. This grandfather reminded me a bit of my own grandpa. Before my grandpa had passed, he was always so full of insight and useful life lessons. The grandpa in this story was explaining to the little girl that life is a circle, but we can only see half of it, the other half is “down below, in the earth”. The little girl then reali
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Danielle
Apr 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
In this meditative story, a grandparent and grandchild see the circles in life and family and nature against a backdrop of beautiful, noteworthy illustrations.
Gina
Jun 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Fascinating art techniques for conveying a world where circles are seen, but also where we are a part of many circles and cycles that we cannot fully see. Good for grandparent relationships and heritage.
Francis Rodriguez
Oct 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
All Around Us is by Xelena González and illustrated by Adriana M. Garcia. It is about a girl and her grandfather exploring the world and discussing how circles are relevant to their experiences whether a person can see them there or not. Her grandfather teaches her to have a deeper meaning of the shape, giving her examples of small situations then to the bigger picture. The book won the Belpré Illustrator Honor Book. I would recommend this book for the children because I believe it would give th ...more
Marissa Elera
Utterly mesmerizing, beautifully told and even more beautifully illustrated!!
Barbara
As someone who has typically regarded life and the world around me in linear fashion, including graphic devices such as timelines, I was excited to find my perspective challenged by this book by a debut author and illustrator team. The narrator's grandfather takes her on a journey during which he points out all the circles around them, including those that are visible and those that aren't seen. Even rainbows, trees, and humans are part of this circle or cycle of life, as the narrator comes to u ...more
Narges
Feb 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s
Beautiful illustrations and precious story.
Edward Sullivan
A beautiful, affirming celebration of family, community, and interconnection.
Jennybeast
Nov 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books, art
I love this book -- from the striking illustrations, to the theme of the cycle of life and death, to the lovely relationship between grandaughter and grandfather. Beautiful in pacing, in quiet but thoughtful scope, and a good, healthy introduction to the idea of birth and loss. Just lovely.
RaiseThemRighteous
Oct 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
https://raisethemrighteous.com/?s=all...

All Around Us, written by Xelena Gonzalez and illustrated by Adriana M. Garcia, is a meditation. Garcia’s images are digitally generated and seem to straddle the line between spiritual and material, curving into a circle under the weight of Gonzalez’s poetic prose. This is fitting since the text explores time as neither linear nor marked by the progression of an individual, but instead cyclical and communal.

The cover image depicts the tawny-skinned face of
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Morgan Baumbach
Genre:Realistic Fiction Recommended grade level: pre-k - 2nd Format: Picture book
Major Awards: 2018 Pura Belpre Award, American Indian Youth Literature Award: Picture Book
Honor, 2018 Skipping Stones Honor Award, 2018 Int'l Latino Book Award Finalist

Summary: Throughout this story, a grandfather teaches his granddaughter to view the world through a different lens. He urges his young granddaughter to recognize the circles that surround her everyday. He teaches her that not all circles are complete
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Michelle Lancaster
Dec 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
PICTURE BOOK
Xelena González, illustrated by Adriana M. Garcia
All Around Us
Cinco Puntos Press
Hardcover, 978-1-9410-2676-2, (also available as an e-book), 288 pgs., $16.95
October 17, 2017

“Do you see, my grandchild? We have new life with you.”

On the most basic level, you could say All Around Us is a children’s book about shapes. “Grandpa says circles are all around us. We just have to look for them.” A young girl and her grandfather take a walk and identify circles: the sun, a clock, bicycle wheels
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Baby Bookworm
Jan 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: our-reviews
https://thebabybookwormblog.wordpress.com/2018/01/11/all-around-us-xelena-gonzalez/

This review was originally written for The Baby Bookworm. Visit us for new picture books reviews daily!

Hello, friends! Our book today is All Around Us, written by Xelena González and illustrated by Adriana M. Garcia, a sweet tale of the nature of life and the bond between a little girl and her grandfather.

Circles are all around us, a man tells his granddaughter. They exist everywhere, even in places we may not see them. He points out a rainbow, and explains that the arch of the rainbow is just t
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Melissa
Jul 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a fictionalized auto-biographical book. The theme of circles is present throughout the book. The story is about a grandpa and his granddaughter and is very much a circle of life story. The illustrations are digital illustrations that started with digital photographs that were altered on the computer. The book has won multiple awards including: American Indian Youth Literature Award: Picture Book Honor, 2018 Skipping Stones Honor Award, 2018 Int'l Latino Book Award Finalist, Pura Belpré I ...more
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
González, Xelena All Around Us, illustrated by Adriana M. Garcia. PICTURE BOOK. Cinco Puntos Press, 2017. $18. 9781941026762

A young girl and her grandfather talk about the circle of life - how a rainbow is only half a circle, the other half is underground - everywhere you look there are circles, they are as natural as being born and dying - which is also a circle.

I loved the message of this book, it’s a great story to read to a child who has lost someone, or who has just added a baby to their f
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Lydia
Jul 17, 2018 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Elizabeth
May 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
All Around Us is beautiful illustrations with heavily saturated and contrasting images. The illustrations take up the entire page. The way that the words are wrapped around the images allows you to see the entire image. It is a book better read slowly so that you can take in the beautiful illustrations of nature and the circle of life. The narrator talks about the circle of life that she learns about from her grandpa. We see a rainbow at first and then we see them working in the garden. Towards ...more
Lisa
Feb 27, 2018 rated it liked it
A young girl and her grandfather talk about the circle of life - how a rainbow is only half a circle, the other half is underground - everywhere you look there are circles, they are as natural as being born and dying - which is also a circle.

I loved the message of this book, it’s a great story to read to a child who has lost someone, or who has just added a baby to their family. The author is native american/spanish and has reflected her family culture into this story. I understand the art styl
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Liz Miro
Oct 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: diversity
Everything about this book is absolutely gorgeous, from the text to the incredible illustrations. The underlying theme in the story is that the circle of life is always moving, never ending. The author, Xelena Gonzalez, is of Native American and Spanish ancestry and the Navajo custom of burying the placenta after birth is included in the story. Adriana M. Garcia's vivid illustrations bring the story to life. Her uses of lines and strokes brings your eyes across every inch of every page, and ther ...more
Jana
I love the close, special time the grandfather and granddaughter share in this sweet picture book that reflects on circles in our lives and in the natural world. As they work side by side in the garden, they consider rainbows, the cycles of plants, and the meaning in life and death. According to the author’s note at the back of the book, “These days it seems more people are finding ways of honoring the earth and their ancestors. More people are creating birth and death rituals that are right for ...more
Karen Kline
Feb 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
A girl and her grandfather share moments in their garden as they talk about circles around them. This concept of the circle of life is part of the author's Native American and Spanish culture, and she mentions it in the note at the end of the book. The art is splashy and bold. Grandfather remembers people from the family whose ashes are buried in the backyard, and the girl helps tend the tree that was planted there when she was born reminding her of the important place she takes as the living pa ...more
Vicki
This book is for fans of A Different Pond by Bao Phi and Drawn Together by Minh Lê as it tells the story of a Native American/mestiza girl and her grandfather, exploring the world around them and their connection to it.

The pages are full, from top to bottom, with unique, collage-like quality images that feel energetic and full of life. The language and plot is simple, but the overall descriptions of nature are sophisticated and engaging. I loved the colors and enjoyed the letter to the reader at
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Erika L.
Oct 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
I don't usually do themes for toddler storytime, but the letter of the day was F, and I just so happened to have two great books about families. All Around Us follows a child and a grandfather as the child learns about the circles that surround their lives. I asked the kids what types of circle things they could see in the pictures, and we drew circles in the air with our fingers. We talked about how rainbows were half circles. The kids were a wiggly bunch today, and this book was not really cap ...more
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