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The World Belongs to You
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The World Belongs to You

by Riccardo Bozzi, Olimpia Zagnoli (Illustrator)

You belong to the world, and the world belongs to you; inspiring words for graduating students and anyone experiencing a time of change in their life. This beautifully crafted book is an uplifting gift for people of any age. Stylish graphic art paired with a deceptively simple text make this a book to be read over and again.


You belong to the world, and the world belongs to you; inspiring words for graduating students and anyone experiencing a time of change in their life. This beautifully crafted book is an uplifting gift for people of any age. Stylish graphic art paired with a deceptively simple text make this a book to be read over and again.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The title of this first book from Bozzi and Zagnoli makes a sweeping promise, but there’s ambivalence inside. Bozzi starts with the generous, eponymous declaration; it appears on a white page with a green circle on it. The second statement, “And you belong to the world,” reverses the first—and reverses the image, too, with a white circle against a field of red. Flat, graphic shapes in austere colors continue throughout. They drift against empty backdrops, and there’s something lonely about them. “You are free,” Bozzi goes on, then thinks again, adding, “Hopefully,” with an uncomfortable note of doubt. He backtracks. “You are free, but you have limits.” The final message is one of adjusted pragmatism: “You are free to overcome these limits.” Zagnoli underlines Bozzi’s modest message with a rose growing up in an empty space between fence pickets. Introducing children to the distinction between things they can control and things they can’t is a tricky proposition—so much is beyond their control. While the intention is to offer reassurance, this particular lesson may muddy the waters. Ages 5–7. (Mar.)
Children's Literature - Heidi Quist
The book consists of a series of simplistic platitudes, generalizations about freedom and limits, happiness and times of unhappiness, such as freedom to learn, freedom to love or not, to be open or closed, and freedom to play. The sayings are accompanied by very simple pictures, monochromatic shapes and icons, sometimes put together to form different images, such as an ice cream cone, a bicycle, an umbrella, a rainbow—simplistic icons to represent the ideas. None of the platitudes includes any specific examples to illustrate the point other than the actual illustrations. This, some might argue, would leave the sayings open to some interpretation and therefore accessible to more children, having no race, gender, age, or other group to feel discriminated against. For one who has learned to appreciate stories and specifics, however, the book feels quite a bit lacking in substance. Young parents, however, might appreciate the simple images for talking to their babies about life, and they can fill in stories as they see fit. Reviewer: Heidi Quist
School Library Journal
Gr 2–5—Brief text that comes full circle and digitally created illustrations, most of them graphic symbols on a predominantly white ground, combine to deliver a message: "You are free to be loved./Or not.…to play….to learn"; "to love anyone you want…"; "to be happy." While the figure of a ghost accompanying the words "You are free to believe in anything you want" is perhaps a strange choice, most of the graphics work well. For example, various shapes are scattered across a spread with the words, "You are free." A page turn reveals those same symbols assembled close together across the gutter with the words "But you have limits" alongside. Above the words "You are free to be loved" is an open window with a container of growing flowers. A window with shuttered blinds on the facing page appears above the phrase, "Or not." Nor is freedom enjoyed without cost. A triple-dip ice-cream cone accompanies, "You are free to be happy." On the opposite page, the cone's contents spill out of it, with the sentence beneath declaring, "But it won't always be easy." Pitched as a book for life's special turning points, the message here is nothing new, and youngsters will likely not be drawn to this title on their own. Nevertheless, the creation of meaning through the placement of graphics on a page might be worth discussion.—Marianne Saccardi, formerly at Norwalk Community College, CT
Kirkus Reviews
High on style, but rather low on substance, this reads like a wannabe inspirational graduation gift. Opening with the simple, titular text, "The world belongs to you," on the verso and a green circle on the recto, ensuing pages hold that "you belong to the world" and describe how this mutual belonging bestows freedoms and limits. Strong graphic art is more or less successful in interpreting the text, though some of the musings--"You are free to be loved. Or not," for example--suggest a more sophisticated audience than the picture-book form usually implies. The text quoted above is illustrated with a window holding a pot with three plants to express being loved, and then the same window shuttered without the pot to show "not," just one instance where word and image interdependence is weak. Other pages are perhaps too literal: The page with text saying that learning can hurt sometimes has a big pink bandage above a red droplet of blood. Ultimately, the book endeavors to send a message of hope and inspiration to its readers, but it ends up looking and reading more like a greeting card than a good picture book. Stick with Marla Frazee's Walk On (2006), Dr. Seuss' perennial best-seller Oh the Places You'll Go (1990), or even Sandra Boynton's more successful picture-book–cum–greeting-card Yay You! (2001). (Picture book. 4-7)

Product Details

Candlewick Press
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
7.20(w) x 9.60(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Riccardo Bozzi was born in Milan in 1966. He is a journalist and works for the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera. He lives in Milan, Italy.

Olimpia Zagnoli was born in 1984 in a small town in northern Italy. Her work has been included in the New York Times, The New Yorker, the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, Adidas Originals, Rolling Stone, Corriere della Sera, and American Illustration 30. Olimpia drives a yellow Fiat and lives in Milan, Italy.

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