Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “All Around Us” as Want to Read:
All Around Us
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

All Around Us

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  515 ratings  ·  169 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
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 12th 2017 by Cinco Puntos Press
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about All Around Us, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about All Around Us

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.12  · 
Rating details
 ·  515 ratings  ·  169 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of All Around Us
Yes indeed, I have both enjoyed and with a nod to folklore and tradition massively appreciated All Around Us, I have truly and absolutely found Xelena Gonzalez' presented narrative both simple and at the same time also delightfully poetic and richly evocative. And I certainly do see and even one hundred percent agree with the author's philosophy that life is not ever a straight line but that everything is circular and as such always revolving, regenerating and reoccurring, with in particular the ...more
Karen Witzler
Dec 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Quietly thoughtful book about not just circles, but cycles, and a reminder that many cultures do not see the world exclusively in terms of linear time. American Indian Youth Literature Award for Best Picture Book (Honor Book) (2018), Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children’s Book Award (2018), Pura Belpré Award Nominee for Illustrator (2018)
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.
Aug 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Culturally relevant, important and beautiful. Once you've read it, let's talk about it!
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.
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
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.
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.
Joseph Angel
“All Around Us” is a beautifully composed picture book written by Xelena Gonzalez and illustrated by Adriana Garcia. The picture book All Around Us was written in 2017 and received an honorable mention from The American Indian Youth Literature Award. I accessed this book electronically through the Chicago Public Library online database.
The picture book follows a young girl and grandfather of Native American Descent. Over the course of the book, the grandfather tells the little girl how there ar
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
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
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
Feb 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Text-to-self: I love that the entire story was centered around the girl and her grandfather, as he passes his wisdom to her. I, too, was very close to my grandfather and always loved to spend time with him, just the two of us.

Text-to-text: The illustrations in this book made me think of The Lion and the Mouse. Although The Lion and the Mouse is not nearly as colorful, the illustrations in both books are so beautiful and the characters look so realistic. When you first open up these two books, th
Margarita Rodriguez
For this book I decided to make a text-to-self connection. Text-to-self connections are highly personal connections that a reader makes between a piece of reading and the reader's own personal experiences or life. In this book, there is a part where the main character is talking about how her grandfather saves the seed and roots from plants to burry again. I found a personal connection with that because my father, although never professionally taught how to garden, has always had a garden full o ...more
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
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
Jun 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: multicultural
The connection I made to this book was a text-to-self. A text-to-self connection is when the readers make a connection to the book whether it is to themselves or if they share something that may have happened in the book. The connection that I made was that similar to in the book the main character and her grandpa as from what I read seem to have a strong connection. I also have a strong connection with my grandparents and I garden, walk, and share stories with them. Through the book, her grandp ...more
Feb 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: pbf-family
I liked this story in which the Grandfather explained to his granddaughter about various circles/cycles in life, and encouraged her to look for them. The choice of font was interesting. I did find a typo in the second sentence of the first page: "We just have yo look for them." With the font type used, I can see why it was overlooked, as the "t" and "y" in the font are quite similar. The digital art looks hand painted. It is very colorful, and the circles are certainly a main theme on every page ...more
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
Nov 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: art, picture-books
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.
Edward Sullivan
A beautiful, affirming celebration of family, community, and interconnection.
Feb 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s
Beautiful illustrations and precious story.
Marissa Elera
Utterly mesmerizing, beautifully told and even more beautifully illustrated!!
Aug 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Probably the best art I've seen in a picture book
Jan 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Meaningful circles: This beautiful book is all about circles. Seeking the shape of circles is the low level of the book. The high level of the book is recognizing the circles or cycles in nature and life and the world. The protagonist is learning from the wisdom and experience of her grandfather. Precious! It is very exciting that this is the first picture book for the author and illustrator who are friends.

Keri Overland
Mar 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: multicultural
- Text to Text: This book is similar to A Different Pond in the sense of they are using different ways of getting food by using the world around them. By fishing and by planting seeds to make things grow.
- Text to Self: currently my classroom is going through a tough time with a loss of one of our friends. This was a great connection and visual for myself to hear as well. That our lives are circles and they all start and end, and usually we get buried in the ground. In the book, he grandpa plant
Babe of Darkness
Jan 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A delightful short story that brought peace to my ears and heart.
Dec 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'm hoping for more books from this duo. Nice job.
Oct 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing

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
Zachary Johnson
All Around Us is a great way to show children what it means to understand and appreciate not knowing the full story of everything, and instead learning from others. The concept of circles as an idea of cyclical nature and a continual stream of events beginning and ending is a beautiful thing for readers young and old to understand. Xelena Gonzalez does a fantastic job of illustrating this and creating an atmosphere of educational content in the form of something many may not have fully understoo ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Frida Kahlo and Her Animalitos
  • Home in the Rain
  • La Princesa and the Pea
  • Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut
  • Dreamers
  • A Different Pond
  • Noodleheads See the Future
  • First Laugh--Welcome, Baby!
  • Chester's Way
  • Where Are You From?
  • Goin' Someplace Special
  • Julius, the Baby of the World
  • How to Be an Elephant
  • Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin
  • Thunder Boy Jr.
  • Doctor De Soto
  • Not So Different: What You Really Want to Ask About Having a Disability
  • Drawn Together
See similar books…

News & Interviews

While books about anti-racism are trending on Goodreads and dominating the bestseller lists right now, some of our favorite Black authors are a...
197 likes · 42 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »