A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Shows a range of humans, their emotions, and their activities, from babies to kids to adults to old people, including caring for babies, older adults, and sick people.
Every line of the poem/blessing is a positive inspiration/meditation: "In every hope, blessed is the doing." "In every sadness, blessed is the comfort. ""In every moment, blessed is the mystery." "In every love, blessed are the tears." "And in every life, blessed is the love."
Positive Role Models
All the people pictured appear kind, sensitive, caring, and in touch with their emotions, including sadness. Adults are shown caring for kids and older adults. Family members appear loving. Parents take kids out into parks, mountains, beaches, and open spaces to enjoy nature's wonders.
Lots of diversity among the humans shown, with a range of races, skin colors, ages, and abilities. There's a woman and a girl using wheelchairs, an adult who uses a walker, two girls who might be using sign language, a women wearing a hijab, another women in a different kind of head scarf, biracial couples, same gender couples, multiracial families, friend groups, and teams.
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Violence & Scariness
There are some illustrated scenes that may trigger fear or sadness for some readers (a family grieving a dying dog, sick child in a hospital bed, older woman attached to an IV pole in a hospital gown).
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that In Every Life, by author-illustrator Marla Frazee, won a 2024 Caldecott Honor. Frazee explains on the dedication page that that the text is a "call-and-response version of a Jewish baby-naming blessing," and the illustrations celebrate human experiences and growth from infancy to late adulthood, the joys and sorrows, and the solace found in nature. It's a quiet meditation with lots for even young kids to enjoy and relate to.
Is It Any Good?
This positive, inclusive picture book has wonderful art and relatable small moments that add up to a rich reading experience. In Every Life acknowledges that over the course of your life there will be tears, but sometimes they'll be tears of joy (like on graduation day and when your team wins). Kids and adults alike can appreciate the pattern of having each spread of detailed daily life followed by a magnificent spread of tiny humans pictured against a bold blast of the natural world in sunsets, beaches, mountain trails, or sunny skies that reminds us of the healing power of taking a break outside to recharge -- or staying cozy inside when it's pouring rain. Marla Frazee's gentle text and colorful, detailed drawings will comfort and soothe readers of all ages.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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Caldecott Medal and Honor Books
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