cover image Everything Is Connected

Everything Is Connected

Jason Gruhl, illus. by Ignasi Font. Bala Kids, $16.95 (36p) ISBN 978-1-61180-631-1

One of Bala Kids’s inaugural releases, this waggish picture book takes its title to heart, emphasizing readers’ connection to an eclectic roundup of people, objects, and phenomena. The narrative, which features a varying rhyme scheme and a peppy rhythm, begins with kids’ relationship with their own bodies, then spans out to illuminate their kinship with family and those they know (“You’re connected to friends/ and to teachers at school,/ and even to people you/ don’t think are cool”) and don’t know (“You’re connected to people in Denver and Maine,/ in Paris and Baghdad, to strangers in Spain”). A menagerie of animals follows, culminating in a quirky conclusion: “But, you see, we’re connected./ We all play a part./ In life we’re the same,/ we’re all blobfish at heart!” Without interrupting the upbeat vibe, Gruhl incorporates some less-than-rosy associations, noting that though people are connected to such positive human-made things as toys, books, and prayers, we also contend with bullies, lies, and pollution. In sync with the freewheeling text, Font’s stylized pictures, many with stark black backdrops, usher this metaphysical story to an open-ended, empowering finale. Ages 4–8. [em](Feb.) [/em]