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If All the World Were...

Written by Joseph Coelho

Illustrated by Allison Colpoys

Key Stage 1 Family / Home Stories

LoveReading View on If All the World Were...

Beautiful Inclusive images and a lyrical poem about coming to terms with missing someone which will be gently reassuring

Shortlisted for the UKLA Book Awards 2020

Joseph Coelho dedicates this lovely picture book to ‘everyone who misses someone’ and it’s particularly apposite for any child who has recently lost a grandparent. The story is narrated by a little girl who describes happy times with her grandad, ordinary everyday experiences interspersed with vivid metaphor, ‘if all the world were deep space, I’d orbit my grandad like the moon and our laughs would be shooting stars’. As the story continues, it’s clear Grandad has died, but writing down her memories ensures he will always be with her. Joseph Coelho is a fine poet and this is a joy to read aloud; Allison Colpoy’s illustrations make it beautiful to look at too and it deserves a place in every child’s collection. 

Andrea Reece

If All the World Were... Synopsis

A moving, lyrical picture book about a young girl's love for her granddad and how she copes when he dies, written by poet and playwright Joseph Coelho. This beautifully illustrated, powerful and ultimately uplifting text is the ideal way to introduce children to the concept of death and dying, particularly children who have lost a grandparent.

If All the World Were... Reader Reviews

In addition to our LoveReading expert opinion some of our LoveReading4Kids Reader Review Panel members were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can read their full reviews by clicking here.

  • Edith and Cecilia, ages 5 & 2.5 - 'My girls are lucky enough to have both sets of grandparents alive and well but this book handles a tricky subject well and with beautiful illustrations.'
  • Abidah & Amatullah Khatun, ages 2 and 8 - 'A memorable book explaining the death of a loved one.'
  • Abbie Collings, age 6 - 'A lovely book about the things a girl does with her grandad over the seasons and the memories they create together.'
  • Jack Radford, Age 6 - 'A sensitive and beautiful book. A comforting way to approach the loss of a loved one, but also a heartwarming story in its own right. Jack asked to read it again and again.'

If All the World Were... Press Reviews

'This poignant and thought-provoking collaboration between acclaimed poet Joseph Coelho and award-winning artist Allison Colpoys is more than just a meditation on loss. It is a profound and deeply moving exploration of how we miss the people who are gone, and of how memories resonate within our lives.' - INIS

Ten of the Best: books starring children from BAME backgrounds: 'Coelho masterfully manages to strike the delicate balance between mourning the passing of a loved one and celebrating the gift of the life they lived and its legacy with moving sensitivity and care. Colpoy's illustrations enrich and deepen our connection with the weight of sadness and height of celebration. An important title to support readers coming to terms with the loss of an elderly relative.' - Books for Keeps

'illustrated with exuberant, floral richness ... (the) focus on memories as something visible, almost tangible, ready to be preserved and collated, may offer some consolation to the bereft child who feels powerless in the aftermath of loss.' - Times Literary Supplement

'This beautiful, moving picture book tells the story of the treasured memories that a child has of her grandfather... The poetic language that Coelho uses is perfectly complemented by wonderful illustrations in the text by Alison Colpoys' - Reading Zone

Book Information

ISBN: 9781786036513
Publication date: 3rd January 2019
Author: Joseph Coelho
Illustrator: Allison Colpoys
Publisher: Frances Lincoln Childrens Books an imprint of Frances Lincoln Publishers Ltd
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 32 pages
Year Groups: Key Stage 1
Topics: Family / Home Stories

About Joseph Coelho

JOSEPH COELHO is a performance poet and playwright. He has written plays for the Polka Theatre, the Lyric, Hammersmith, and the Unicorn Theatre. He performs his poetry shows with the UK's top performance poetry organisation, Apples and Snakes, visiting venues across the UK. Joseph's poems have appeared in many anthologies, including Green Glass Beads by Jacqueline Wilson and The Works 6, edited by Pie Corbett, but Werewolf Club is his first solo collection. He lives in Folkestone, Kent.

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