cover image All We Need

All We Need

Kathy Wolff, illus. by Margaux Meganck. Bloomsbury, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-61963-874-7

Accompanying Wolff’s (What George Forgot) verses about what people need to live, Meganck (The Marvelous Mustard Seed) paints loving, attentive families of varying ages and ethnicities in a bustling city neighborhood. Some are seen enjoying a park fountain whose jets cool hot days. “All we need/ is what falls from above/ to fill up our glass and our bucket and tub”—suspense carries through a spread of children cavorting in the spray until the need is revealed: water. The pattern of the stanza’s omitted last word quickly becomes apparent, inviting readers to guess: “Whether it’s roasted or simmered or stewed,/ All we need...”—families are seen preparing potluck items for a community dinner, from tamales to gyoza—“ food.” In Wolff’s hymn to resource sharing and community, Meganck paints families living lightly on the earth—cycling, enjoying each other’s children, and sharing food while offering each other emotional support through teaching, listening, and the occasional embrace. Warm, reassuring images throughout show families whose shared participation makes neighborhood ties stronger. Ages 3–6. [em]Author’s agent: Sarah Landis, Sterling Lord Literistic. Illustrator’s agent: Lori Kilkelly, LK Literary. (June) [/em]