The Invisible Web: A Story Celebrating Love and Universal Connection

Book review by
Barbara Saunders, Common Sense Media
The Invisible Web: A Story Celebrating Love and Universal Connection Book Poster Image
Gorgeous picture book celebrates interconnectedness.

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The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

The large variety of images included can spark educational discussion. In addition to depictions of diverse people, there are animals such as starfish, butterflies, owls, and pet cats; landscapes such as bridges and a banyan tree; and even illustrations of complex social situations. For example, a page that shows a war-torn city faces a page that shows a group of peaceful protesters, and two children join hands across the boundary between the pages.

Positive Messages

We are all one big family that includes everyone you know (even those who are far away or gone), the planet, the animals, and the stars.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The illustrations feature people of all ages, skin colors, and genders. People are dressed in clothing representing many different cultures of the world, including yarmulke, sari, and hijab.

Violence & Scariness

There are a few very minor depictions of material that might upset some children, including a "bossy" friend who makes a child feel sad, a scene where a child is socially rejected, and image of a family in a cityscape destroyed by war. The text that accompanies the war image uses the phrase "violence and war." 

Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Invisible Web: A Story Celebrating Love and Universal Connection is a picture book written by Patrice Karst and illustrated by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff. A companion to the best-selling The Invisible String (which was originally published in 2000), it offers the inspirational and reassuring message that we are all connected. The large variety of images included can spark educational discussion. In addition to depictions of diverse people, there are animals, landscapes, and even complex social situations. For example, a page that shows a war-torn city faces a page that shows a group of peaceful protesters, and two children join hands across the boundary between the pages. The illustrations feature people of all ages, skin colors, and genders. People are dressed in clothing representing many different cultures of the world. There are a few very minor depictions of material that might upset some children, including a "bossy" friend who makes a child feel sad, a scene where a child is socially rejected, and image of a family in a cityscape destroyed by war. 

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What's the story?

THE INVISIBLE WEB brings the good news that we are all connected. All of humanity, including the people who are far away from us or gone, are included. So are the plants and animals, our cities and towns, our planet, and the universe. Bright, colorful illustrations and poetic text portray the connection, discouraging occasions when we have difficulty feeling it, and ways to strengthen our awareness of it in our lives. 

Is it any good?

This beautiful book does more than inspire; it promotes emotional resilience. Author Patrice Karst doesn't attempt to paper over the reality that people have moments when they feel alone or abandoned in The Invisible Web; she asserts that those moments are not what define us. Readers can savor the beauty of Joanne Lew-Vriethoff's art, and the author provides an optimistic model about of the human condition.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the connections shown in The Invisible Web. What makes you feel connected to others? What makes you feel alone.

  • What can you do to help someone who feels lonely?

  • Is there anyone you miss right now? Try writing them a letter.

Book details

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