I found this gem browsing a store in my neighborhood. I read it. I cried. I read it to my husband that night. He cried. There was something so hopeful and true about this picture book I wanted to buy it for everyone I know.
This is a gift you could give a friend, a relative, a co-worker, or an entire family. A quick, wise read, a great design specimen, a festively-colored cover.
It’s beautifully designed and lovely to ponder. The text is super simple, but so engaging and resonant when you imagine it directed at either a child or adult. There’s an acknowledgement of pain from the very first. “You are free. Hopefully.” But that potential for pain, throughout, is balanced with growth and the potential for joy.
Some might feel this book isn’t actually for children at all, but the illustrations show me it is. A ghost, bold shapes, a bike, ice cream, a rainbow. But it’s the kind of book that can walk someone through childhood and way beyond it. Through intellectual pursuits, through heartache, through friendship, through failure, through sadness, through successes big and small.
Even the sentiment of the title, beginning, and close: you, reader, the world belongs to you. And you belong to the world. Isn’t that something we need to remember at this time of year, always? That the world is ours but that we have an obligation to the world as well. That we’re all connected. That red and green are complementary colors. Different. Related. Opposite sides of one wheel.
Thanks to Candlewick Press for the second two images!
THE WORLD BELONGS TO YOU. Text copyright © 2013 by Ricardo Bozzi. Illustrations copyright © 2013 by Olimpia Zagnoli. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA.