World So Wide by Alison McGhee and Kate Alizadeh

Hello, Alison McGhee! Welcome to Watch. Connect. Read.! THANK YOU for stopping by to share World So Wide’s cover. What ran through your head (or heart) the first time you saw Kate Alizadeh’s cover illustration? 

Alison McGhee: “So that’s what they look like.” This was my first thought when I beheld Kate’s lovely, tender cover for World So Wide. When I’m writing a picture book I try not to picture the possible illustrations –the artwork is the domain of the artist, and I want her to feel as free as I do when I’m dreaming up a book. It was magical to see how my imagined people were brought to such soulful, bright life by Kate. 

Illustration Credit: Kate Alizadeh 
Please finish the following sentence starters:

I hope World So Wide opens a dreamy window in a child’s mind, one that lets them imagine this enormous world and all the millions and millions of people in it and think, Wait – me? I was once the youngest person alive? ME? And I was loved right from the start?

For the grownups reading it, I hope there’s comfort in remembering that they are part of a line of parents as old as humanity and as young as the next baby to draw breath. That even in the cruelest and most troubling of times, they are not alone.

Did you know that everyone, no matter who they are, was once the newest human on earth? Which leads to the flip side of that coin, which is that all of us, no matter who we are, will someday be the next to leave. This is a sobering thought to me, and a grounding one. Remembering that my time on earth is finite helps me keep my priorities straight in art and in life. 

Illustration Credit: Kate Alizadeh 

Picture books are on permanent residence in our minds and hearts. For evidence, just ask a bunch of random people this question –“What’s your favorite book from early childhood?”—and watch them all start saying “Oooh! Oooh!” and shouting over each other. It’s hilarious.

Mr. Schu, you should have asked me why I probably annoyed grammarians nationwide by using “they” instead of “he” or “she” throughout World So Wide. I did it on purpose, to be as inclusive as possible. It’s a wide, wide world out there, and we should all be free and accepted and loved as we are. Anything I can do to help dissolve categories and barriers between people, I will do. 

Look for World So Wide on February 1, 2020. 
A celebration of a child’s wonder-filled first experiences, and the love between parents and child, from a Pulitzer Prize–nominated, New York Times bestselling author and a talented illustrator.
Somewhere in the world
the world so far
the world so wide
someone is the youngest person alive.
What will be the first sights they see?
Sun and moon and sky…
the love in someone’s eye?
From the magic of a baby’s first sights and sounds to a wish for a far-off day, evocative text and gorgeous illustrations are imbued with the tenderness felt between parents and child. A perfect gift for new mothers and fathers and anyone who cherishes those unforgettable moments—or dreams of a time when their children will see their own little ones smile at them for the first time.


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