This review is part of the Green Books campaign. Today 200 bloggers take a stand to support books printed in an eco-friendly manner by simultaneously publishing reviews of 200 books printed on recycled or FSC-certified paper. By turning a spotlight on books printed using eco- friendly paper, we hope to raise the awareness of book buyers and encourage everyone to take the environment into consideration when purchasing books.
The campaign is organized for the second time by Eco-Libris, a green company working to make reading more sustainable. We invite you to join the discussion on "green" books and support books printed in an eco-friendly manner! A full list of participating blogs and links to their reviews is available on Eco-Libris website.
All in a Day by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Nikki McClure; Abrams Books for Young Readers (March 2009); ISBN 9780810983212; 32 pages
Book Source: Review copy from publisher
"Every bird and every tree
and every living thing
loves the promise in a day,
loves what it can bring."
Carpe diem (seize the day) is a phrase that most of us are familiar with but might not always take to heart. Each day is a gift, full of hope and promise. Cynthia Rylant reminds readers to live each day to the fullest in her book, All in a Day. She doesn't often mention particulars in her wonderful, poetic verses, but rather describes a day using broad phrases that apply to all lives and appeal to all ages.
"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."
Nikki McClure's idyllic cut paper illustrations provide the reader with imagery needed to visualize a perfect day in the life of a child. From sunrise to sunset, a little boy's life is full of simple moments outside as he takes joy in both work and play, observes nature and spends time with family. He feeds the chickens, blows dandelion seeds, cuddles in a hammock, and takes a walk through the woods. Each and every image is nature-based and full of astonishing detail. McClure is a master of cut paper art and each illustration is cut by hand from a piece of black paper.
Truly an eye-opener with a wonderful message and striking illustrations, this book is one to ponder and cherish. Children may not quite fully understand the sentiment and will probably not react as emotionally to the text as an adult, but the illustrations offer plenty of food for thought and convey the message in a way that adults may miss. My kids naturally appreciate nature more fully than I do. They marvel at the smallest things and take in life with wide open eyes, ready for each new experience. Same goes for this gem of a book. If you take the time to read it, make sure to pause and experience each page, search out the lost feathers and the broken egg. Point them out to a child. And, as the book implies, do the same in life -- take it all in, make each moment count.
All in a Day is printed on recycled paper. The illustrations portray natural living and stewardship of nature. That's not surprising given the illustrator's background. In an interview on Mishaps and Adventures, McClure remarks, "I want my work to resonate with a deep collective memory of fingers in soil, growing food, talking to birds (not just listening), people working together in community."
As a book blogger, I'm excited to have the opportunity once again to participate in the Eco-Libris campaign and hope that publishers like Abrams continue to incorporate green practices into the production of their books.
Nikki McClure - Illustrator Website
Paper Cutting - Paper Chains Craft
McClure's intricate cut paper illustrations require advanced skills plus the use of a X-Acto knife. While an elaborate cut paper illustration probably isn't a project for young children, they most likely can make simple cut paper chains. Because we're talking about eco-friendly publishing and green choices today, I thought we'd try using some of our old newspapers for this project. We took a piece of newspaper and accordion-folded it. For my animal paper chain, I decided to draw the silhouette of a squirrel holding half a heart. My daughter just made an easy heart paper chain. When deciding on a silhouette to use, you have to be sure that enough of the silhouette will touch the edges so that they remain joined and form a connected chain.
Illustration image used with permission. (I am an Amazon affiliate and may receive a very small commission for products purchased through my Amazon links. View my full disclosure statement for more information about my reviews.)