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TOON LEVEL: 1
INTEREST LEVEL: Age 3+
READING LEVEL: Grades K-1
F&P READING LEVEL: K
AUTHOR: Jordan Crane
DIMENSIONS: 9" x 6"
RELEASE DATE: September 4th, 2018
About the Book
A poetic picture book about interconnectedness.
A simple idea: a lyrical picture book, bursting with colors, about our interdependent world, from cell to self and seed to sky.
"This far-reaching metaphysical outing, an addition to Toon’s early reader comics series, focuses on the microscopic and the immense as well as individuality and collectivity. With abstract, psychedelic art, Crane introduces a white, moonlike orb that grows arms and emerges from the darkness after a page turn: “I am one.” The being next appears—smiling, with its arms outstretched—within the chest of a second, long-limbed figure. As the book moves along, the book shows this being as a part of an interconnected whole that comprises the planet and its fundamental materials (“made of air/ and of cloud/ made of water/ and of earth/ and seed”) until the materials become flesh (“of leaf and fruit/ and bug and bee/ and bone and meat”). As the book zooms into the biological, readers glimpse the inside of a neon pink bird’s stomach and the ventricles of a beating heart, and atoms are rendered as dramatic, kaleidoscopic forms. Finally, as the book zooms back out, long-limbed beings join the first figure, all with similar orbs that grow from their chests, connecting and pooling together: “We are all one.” This is a strange and lovely meditation on wholeness."
★★★ Publishers Weekly STARRED REVIEW
"With bright artwork and a spare, poetic text, this inviting comic for little ones takes on a truly gigantic topic: the interconnectedness of the universe...It’s eye-catching stuff, and the tone of the text is general enough that, if the concept soars over the heads of little ones, they’ll still be able to grasp the overall message, which is warm, encouraging, and hopeful."
"It’s just an excellent book, period. Essentially, it falls into the same category of The Same Stuff As Stars, but goes granular. It may even contain the most beautiful rendering of DNA I’ve ever seen in a picture book. Prepare to have your little mind blown (and in shockingly few words too)."
--Betsy Bird for School Library Journal
"The language is poetic but accessible...a worthwhile purchase for libraries seeking additional beginning readers."
--School Library Journal
One of Paul Gravett's Top 25 Graphic Novels of September 2018
"Sparse text that can be inferred from the artwork and striking illustrations in day-glo colors make this an accessible title for new readers. Some of the spreads are downright gorgeous, as they depict in detail how seeds grow or a human heart."
--Youth Services Book Review
"The ways in which these concepts are illustrated is the reason [young readers] will sit and turn the pages."
Rob Clough analyzes the visual devices that makes We Are All Me flow and convey meaning at High Low Comics:
Design king Crane's We Are All Me is deceptively simple. Another Level One book, there's just a few words of text on each page. However, the book is conceptually complex, as Jordan asks the reader to shift their perspective multiple times. He starts out exploring our relationship with the environment as the pages bleed into each other in terms of color. Air, water and earth flow into one another as smoothly as Crane's crisp color patterns. There's just a joyous rhythm to this comic, both in terms of visuals and words, like the lines "and bone and meat/and beat beat beat". Flipping over to the heart with the last line, there's an explosion of pink, orange, and blue on the page as Crane went in the opposite direction, going smaller and smaller until he reaches the subatomic level. Crane goes beyond that to make some interesting claims regarding sentience arising at that level and that all of it (and us) are connected. Heady stuff, but Crane clearly respects his audience enough to think them capable of understanding it conceptually. Thanks to his bold and dynamic use of color, he's right to think so.
Teachers' Guide: Interdependence of Living Things
Profound and fun? Somehow Lotus Fragola managed to combine the two in her We Are All Me lesson plan, which focuses on the interdependence of all living things. Plus an activity sheet focused on numbering things big to small!
About the Author
Around the Fourth of July, Jordan Crane was hiking in the woods with his wife, Rebecca, when she exclaimed, “Interdependence Day!” Her idea was for a holiday like Independence Day, with parades and fireworks, a way to celebrate all the ways we are connected to one another and to the planet. Dazzled by the thought, Jordan decided to make a comic about it. He worked for many months trying to get it right. Rebecca told him, “It’s not a new idea. It’s something that people know. Just be clear, and draw it as you see it.” So he drew it all over again, and at last it was done—the book you now hold in your hands.