A charming world tour of childhood
We Are All Under One Wide Sky by Deborah Wiles and Andrea Stegmaier, Sounds True
This beautiful book celebrates diversity while embracing the shared experiences that unite us all, and showcasing the splendour of nature. We may be from different countries and cultures, but the building blocks of our lives are essentially the same. We all play, laugh, love and grow beneath the same big sky.
Taking the structure of a counting book, this has a powerful simplicity. The sparse text makes it suitable for a young audience, while its lyrical lines can be appreciated by older children and even adults. It’s practically impossible to choose a favourite sentence, but I’m especially fond of, ‘Nine shadows butter the yard.’
As we move around the world, a sense of harmony radiates from each page. The illustrations are stunning and there are several spreads with no words at all which my kids (four and six) absolutely love. They always spend lots of time gazing at these pages and making up their own dialogue and stories.
It’s brilliant to see so much diversity with children from all over the world and in wheelchairs represented, and a variety of family dynamics too. We meet young people raised by grandparents, lone parents, same-sex parents, mixed-race parents and even tattooed parents! Gentle and soothing, this unique counting book is ideal for lulling little ones to sleep and would make a gorgeous gift for a new baby.
About the author: Deborah Wiles is the author of several highly acclaimed books for children and young adults, including Freedom Summer and two National Book Award finalists, Each Little Bird That Sings and Revolution. Deborah lives in Atlanta, Georgia. About the illustrator: Andrea Stegmaier is an illustrator and architect with a passion for children’s books. She uses both digital and traditional techniques in creating her art. Andrea lives in Stuttgart, Germany. When not drawing, Andrea can be found gardening or exploring the world with her family.
A huge thank you to the lovely people in Sounds True for sharing this wonderful book with us. All opinions expressed are our own.