World So Wide (Alison McGhee)

Hello, friends! Our book today is World So Wide, written by Alison McGhee and illustrated by Kate Alizadeh, a tender ode to new families and the joy of welcoming a baby.

Somewhere in the world so wide, there is a person who is the youngest person alive – and once upon a time, it was you. Addressing the reader directly, the narration describes all the firsts that a child experiences – the first things they see, feel, hear, smell, etc. – as illustrations watch a father and mother introduce their own little one to the world around him. Perhaps the most incredible firsts are the feelings felt as a family grows and loves, and perhaps one day, that little person will grow to experience the joys of parenthood themselves.

Heartwarming. This sweet and gentle look at one extended family is soft and comforting in tone, both visually and in the text. Minimal, serene free-verse wraps around the reader like a warm blanket, making for a comforting read. The illustrations are colorful yet equally calm, switching between pleasant scenes of family outings, homey moments, and closeups of the baby and his parents bonding. I particularly liked the visuals of the ending, in which the baby has grown into a father himself; the new father is seemingly a single parent and sports an earring and vaguely alternative hairstyle. It’s a nice, subtle way of showing that families come in all shapes and sizes (his own parents are a mixed-race couple). The length was great, and JJ enjoyed the soothing story. A lovely look at the bond between parents and their babies, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved.

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by a representative of the author in exchange for an honest review.)

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