All Around Us

By: Xelena González
Illustrator: Adriana M Garcia

“Circles are all around us. We just have to look for them. Sometimes they exist in the most unusual places. A transcendent, perfectly gorgeous book, as magical as childhood feels in its best times. Rich, warm, comforting words and images to hold closely in your mind.”—Naomi Shihab Nye



All Around Us Teaching Guide

Grandpa says circles are all around us.

He points to the rainbow that rises high in the sky after a thundercloud has come. "Can you see? That's only half of the circle. That rest of it is down below, in the earth."

He and his granddaughter meditate on gardens and seeds, on circles seen and unseen, inside and outside us, on where our bodies come from and where they return to. They share and create family traditions in this stunning exploration of the cycles of life and nature.

Xelena González has roots in San Antonio, Texas, but has stretched her wings to fly all the way to Guangzhou, China, where she works as a librarian in an international school. She studied journalism at Northwestern University and library science at Texas Woman's University, but her true training as a storyteller has come from getting to know other living beings, including plants, animals, and people who happen to speak different languages or see the world in unusual ways. All Around Us is her first book.

Adriana M Garcia, an award-winning artist, muralist, and scenic designer was born and raised on the Westside of San Antonio. She received her BFA From Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and studied fine arts in Valencia, Spain.

Check out the tai chi All around Us workshop by Xelena Gonzalez!

Awards and Accomodations

American Indian Youth Literature Award: Picture Book Honor
2018 Skipping Stones Honor Award
2018 Int'l Latino Book Award : Best First Book, Children and Youth
Pura Belpré Illustrator Honor Book 2018
Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children's Book Award
Best Picture Book, Texas Institute of Letters Literary Award
ALSC Notable Children's Book

7 reviews for All Around Us

  1. Yuyi Morales
    All Around Us begs to be shared over and over. The use of lines and strokes conveys energy, spirit, magic. And I love the way it connects us all to the idea that we come from inside, from the earth, from something gentle and primal, and that is where go back to—and we better take care of it.

  2. Publishers Weekly
    A girl and her grandfather contemplate circles, both physical and metaphorical, in this thought-provoking tale of family, community, and interconnection.

  3. De Colores: The Raza Experience in Books for Children
    This warm, gentle story that celebrates family, culture, community and the connectedness of all things …All Around Us is a quiet, beautiful story, and is highly recommended.—Beverly Slapin

  4. Kirkus Reviews
    The author’s direct approach and light touch soften the otherwise weighty subject matter. … Life-affirming in its quiet splendor.

  5. Lone Star Literary Life
    All Around Us is all about connections, graced by ethereal images—the perfect children’s book for this season of celebrating endings and new beginnings.

  6. School Library Journal
    It’s gorgeous, quite frankly.—Elizabeth Bird

  7. Friends Journal
    All Around Us is one of those rare books that children will want to read again and again, and adults will be happy to accommodate.—Emmy Gay

Only logged in customers who have purchased this product may leave a review.