by Judy Newman with Alexie Basil
Usually, I open Life of a Reader posts by making—as teachers would call it—text-to-self connections. Whatever journey the book takes me on, I follow it to the end and share it with you here, whether it’s memories, reflections, observations, or another inspiration.
But this week, my friend and colleague David Vozar made this wonderful gif inspired by our Book of the Week, We’ve Got the Whole World in Our Hands by Rafael López, and I just couldn’t wait to share it:
To me, this animation sums up so beautifully how we at Scholastic feel about books—and how we know many teachers and readers feel as well.
When you open a book, you have the whole world in your hands. And when you open many books, you gain understanding and knowledge that helps you to be more responsible with the world you’re holding.
That’s a huge reason why I have so much faith in the upcoming generations, and one reason why I personally am so passionate about helping to get more books into their hands.
In We’ve Got the Whole World in Our Hands, illustrator Rafael López puts colorful, cheerful mixed-media art to classic lyrics you might recognize.
“A beautiful vision of a global community.” —Kirkus Reviews
In the story, a string of rainbow yarn connects kids and animals from across all different environments and cultures. The yarn wraps around the globe until, in the end, it finally creates a hot-air balloon with the whole world inside.
We’ve Got the Whole World in Our Hands is a great way to open conversations with students about how books not only connect us to a global community, but also make us more equipped to care for our communities.
For more ways that you can share the magic of We’ve Got the Whole World in Our Hands with your students, we created some free resources for you and your class!
• The Book Boys kick off a pen pal activity with readers from all over the world in a fun, class-friendly video
• Learn how third grade teacher Zindy M. Ruiz Cruz uses We’ve Got the Whole World in Our Hands to connect students with their extended communities in Book Talks
• Watch an interview with Rafael López to discover how his community encouraged him to pursue art, as well as what inspired his illustrations, in Behind the Scenes
• Encourage students to write to a pen pal of their own with a free downloadable letter-writing activity in Cooked Up from a Book
I hope that this book empowers your students to remember that the world is in their hands, and that through reading, we’re all connected.
This Book Is Available from Scholastic Book Clubs