Book Information

Picture Book
Beach Lane Books June 2017
Character-Building Curriculum

"There is so much to love about life."

Here's a really great question --- what do YOU love about life? If you ask the snake, he'll say he loves the grasssssss.  If you ask the hawk she'll tell you the sky.  In every corner of the world  every animal has a wonderful part of the world to love.

Sometimes it's hard to remember what you love about life.  Sometimes it seems nothing beautiful will come your way.  But watch, life always begins with something small and grows.   Life is always changing and it's worth getting up in the morning to see what's going to happen.

The lyrical, reassuring, heart-warming prose of Cynthia Rylant carries this homage to life up the hills and down across the dales with a panoply of glorious animals all celebrating the wondrous place we call home and the journey we call life.

The illustrations evoke the rush of violins singing and soaring as we discover one after another of nature's beautiful miracles and this same rich song carries us through the dark times when life looks bleak.

Look closely into the pools on the first pages and you'll spy the primordial soup from which we came.  Yes, we started small and we didn't look like much.  But lifted by star shine and wonder, we have evolved along with the plants and animals around us.

Every morning should begin with this story and our deep consideration of what we love about life.  Gorgeous!  Smart!  Brilliant!  The kind of beauty we need these days to balance the "other."

48 pages   978-1481451628   Ages 4-8

Recommended by:  Barb Langridge,


“Life is change How it differs from the rocks I’ve seen their ways too often for my liking. New worlds to gain My life is to survive And be alive For you” -- Paul Kantner, “Crown of Creation” (1968)

“Life is not always easy. There will probably be a stretch of wilderness now and then. But wilderness eventually ends. And there is always a new road to take.”

Life is amazing and special. So is LIFE, a breathtakingly beautiful picture book collaboration between a pair of award-winning children’s book author/illustrators of two generations. After reading and re-reading this celebration of existence, I’m still not sure whether I’m more blown away by Rylant’s words or by Wenzel’s pictures.

Life is precious and challenging and miraculous. As this story shows us, life begins small, and grows. LIFE is built around expressive animal characters, many of whom will crack you up. There is only one spread, featuring domesticated pets, in which we catch a peripheral glimpse of humanity’s footprint.

“...Everything is changing. And it is worth waking up in the morning to see what might happen.”

LIFE will be an entertaining read aloud for young audiences. But it may be even more meaningful to any number of perplexed tweens and teens who are trying to decipher this thing called life. Rylant and Wenzel strike a perfect balance here in their presentation of an engaging picture book tale featuring significant philosophical depth.

Recommended by:  Richie Partington, MLIS, California USA See more of his recommendations:  Richie's Picks

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