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All Around Us

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  357 ratings  ·  108 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
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4.10  · 
Rating details
 ·  357 ratings  ·  108 reviews

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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
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.
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!
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
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
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
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
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.
Feb 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: multicultural
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
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!!
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
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.
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.
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
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
Michelle Lancaster
Dec 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
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
Baby Bookworm
Jan 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: our-reviews

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
Feb 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: multicultural
Text to Self: Gardens have always been an important part of my life. I remember my grandmother's small annual bed and her love of perennials; irises and lilacs were planted at the corners of her house. When she was younger, she had a small patch of tomatoes and cucumbers. It was here that I learned my love of all gardens that I carry with me today. Watching the cycles of her plants when I would visit at different times of the year. Spring brought seedlings out of the house and into the unpredict ...more
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
Mar 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
A grandfather and granddaughter discuss the circles of life. A lovely grouping, or circle of thoughts, on daily life and life and death itself.
TT This book makes me think of My window garden for some reason, maybe it is the walking, the colors, or the family. That is just what popped into my head. The seeds growing in the box only to beautify and die but in that book it does not go that far, it only shows the pretty flower filled box. Bunting, E. (2000)Flower Garden. Boston, MA: Houghton Miffli
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
Mar 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 00-in-class
I absolutely loved the book "All Around Us" by Xelena Gonzalez. This book follows a young Hispanic girl and her grandfather as he explains the world and what it means. The illustrations are artistically executed and offer interesting and beautiful images of the seen and unseen world in which we live. The story line offers an interesting look at the importance of family and a sensitive look at the concept of death without it being viewed as scary or upsetting. The circles which exist in the girls ...more
Melia Bents
This book was about an young girl and her grandfather who was very wise. He talked about circles and how they are seen everywhere around us. This included things we can physically see, like the sun and bicycles and rainbows, but also in things we can't see, like the circle of life and the food chain. He showed care towards the earth as he replanted seeds of the food that he ate and also shared his wisdom to his granddaughter about how their ancestors are physically gone from their family circle, ...more
David LaDay
Gonzalez, X. (2017). All Around Us. El Paso, TX: Cinco Puntos Press.
Text to World - The impact that trees have on our environment is too large to measure. This story makes me think of how necessary trees are to the health and welfare of our planet. It is cool that this grandpa is passing on family heritage as well as a love and appreciation for trees. It is apart of the circle of life.
Text to Text - I am reading “Lucky Broken Girl” by Ruth Behar. In the story a little boy falls out of the window
Jul 17, 2018 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
All Around Us is a book written by Xelena Gonzalez in 2017. I would recommend this book to a 3rd or 4th grader, just because they may need to be at that level cognitively, in order to understand what the grandfather is inferring. It is a good read about a young girl who is hanging out with her grandpa. The grandpa shares about the circle of life and that we need to care for the earth, because one day we will end up in the part of the circle that is not seen. He shares the importance of taking ca ...more
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