If All the World Were... ISBN: 9781786030597
Published by Lincoln Children's Books, 2018
This sophisticated and beautifully produced picture book by a poet and an artist is about a grandfather and his small granddaughter and their very special relationship. Throughout a year they do everything together hand in hand, even though granddad says, 'You're too old to hold hands.' Spring is a time for walking and exploring; in summer they buy a second-hand toy racing track and put all the missing bits together; in autumn, granddad gives the little girl a rainbow pencil and a lovely notebook he has made for her and tells her to 'write and draw all your dreams'. In winter they sit in a chair and cuddle by the fire, and granddad tells stories of when he was a boy in India. But one day, the chair is empty, and the little girl must come to terms with granddad's death. 'Some tales are silent,' she realises, and there is mum there to comfort her. When the family clean granddad's room, the little girl finds all sorts of interesting things that remind her of granddad, and these become treasures. She also finds a new notebook and more rainbow pencils, and she begins to write and draw all her happy memories of being with him. She says, '...still I hold his giant hand. And we explore hand in hand.' This is a stunning book, the text highly poetic and sensitively written, and the pictures full of explosions of colour and light. It may take a slightly older child to appreciate it fully, but one with an eye for colour and an ear for poetry could find it life-changing.