All in a Day

( 4 )

Overview

This lovely book illuminates all the possibilities a day offers—the opportunities and chances that won’t ever come again—and also delivers a gentle message of good stewardship of our planet. Newbery Medal winner Cynthia Rylant’s poetic text, alongside Nikki McClure’s stunning, meticulously crafted cut-paper art, makes this picture book not only timeless but appealing to all ages, from one to one hundred.

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Overview

This lovely book illuminates all the possibilities a day offers—the opportunities and chances that won’t ever come again—and also delivers a gentle message of good stewardship of our planet. Newbery Medal winner Cynthia Rylant’s poetic text, alongside Nikki McClure’s stunning, meticulously crafted cut-paper art, makes this picture book not only timeless but appealing to all ages, from one to one hundred.

F&P level: N
F&P genre: RF

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

McClure's (Collect Raindrops ) illustrations draw most of the attention here. Using an X-Acto knife and black paper, McClure suggests textures as varied as pea-plant tendrils, falling rain and the softness of a mother's body. "A day is a perfect piece of time/ to live a life,/ to plant a seed," Newbery Medalist Rylant (When I Was Young in the Mountains ) begins, as a young farm boy ties one shoelace and a hen pecks at the other. In spreads on alternating blue and yellow backgrounds, the boy waters his garden and gathers eggs, but also picnics, naps and, along with his mother and the hen, stretches out on his back to gaze up at the sky. End-on perspective makes their feet, noses and the hen's body the only topographical features protruding from the curve of the horizon. "Underneath that great big sky/ the earth is all a-spin./ This day will soon be over/ and it won't come back again," Rylant writes. While children aren't usually moved by messages about fleeting time-that's a sentiment adults are likelier to have-they'll enjoy Rylant's rhythms and the tenderness of McClure's images. Ages 4-up. (Mar.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Rylant celebrates a day—"a perfect piece of time"—in rhymes that spread across each pair of pages in large type. A young boy climbs a tree and waters the plants. "A day brings hope." He feed a chicken, makes a wish on dandelion fluff and cuddles with his mother. "Every bird and every tree/ and every living thing/ loves the promise in a day,/ Loves what it can bring." The boy salutes the birds and helps bring in the laundry from the rain. "The past is sailing off to sea, the future's fast asleep./ A day is all you have to be, it's all you get to keep." The boy lies down and looks up as the sun sets. The day has been both a challenge and inspiration to "[s]ee what you can do." There are scenes of woods, gardens with ripening peas, fair weather and rain, and people. In a process described in a note, illustrator McClure deftly applies black cut paper to white paper, and then adds bright yellow accents and touches of blue. The result is a well-conveyed sense of the day in a boy's life that is quiet, yet worthy of celebration. Note the contrasting jacket and cover. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal

K-Gr 4

This picture-book poem discusses the many things that can be done in a day: plant a seed, make a wish, live a life. The illustrations were each cut from a single piece of black paper using an X-Acto knife. They incorporate white spaces and play against yellow and blue backgrounds. Astonishingly detailed, the artwork evokes the feel of classic 1940s and '50s picture books. The large spreads show a boy exploring nature on his family's farm, napping in a hammock with his mother, and hiking in the woods with his father. They successfully capture the magical childhood sense that a day can go on forever. There's no denying the simple loveliness of Rylant's text in lines like "The past is sailing off to sea,/the future's fast asleep," but ultimately, the poem's "seize the day" message may be better appreciated by adults than children.-Kathleen Kelly MacMillan, Carroll County Public Library, MD

Kirkus Reviews
A boy spends a day on his family farm, sharing joys and disappointments with his parents, a friendly chicken and a watchful squirrel. Rylant uses gentle verse to describe the gifts of a new day and consistent rhyme to conjure the reassuring cycles of nature. McClure's bold cut-paper illustrations make such nebulous concepts as hope and renewal accessible to young readers. Her touching black-and-white tableaux, satisfying and solid with thick lines and sharp reliefs, offer simple scenes of rejuvenation: a rain shower, a burgeoning seedling, a chicken's perfect egg. When the egg breaks, leaving the boy heartbroken, even the tiniest child will understand his tearful desire to undo what's been done, to start again. Alternating backdrops of color, finch-yellow and a soft, muted blue, allow for a whole new outlook with every page turn. This uplifting picture book succeeds in introducing children to the perennial promise of tomorrow through lithe language and honed imagery. (Picture book. 4-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810983212
  • Publisher: Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/1/2009
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 278,102
  • Age range: 3 - 5 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.50 (w) x 10.30 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Cynthia Rylant is the author of more than a hundred books for children. She won the Newbery Medal for Missing May and the Newbery Honor for A Fine White Dust. She lives in Oregon. Nikki McClure is a self-taught artist who has been making paper-cuts since 1996. She is the author and illustrator of Abrams’ Collect Raindrops. All in a Day is her first Abrams’ children’s book. She lives with her family in Olympia, Washington.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2009

    All In a Day is destined to be a classic

    The tone, the writing, and the illustrations of All In a Day are lovely, and just the type of story I want to give to children. It supports experiencing life in an unhurried way. I enjoyed the expansive and comforting feeling, which reminded me of the classic books of both Margaret Wise Brown and Rebecca Caudill.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted September 17, 2010

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    Posted October 5, 2010

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    Posted June 4, 2009

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