'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Friday 21 May 2021

Review: The Biggest Thing of All

The Biggest Thing of All is a delicate representation of love; an emotive picture book in which the seasons become metaphors for the circle of life. 

Romina Galotta’s poignant, immersive translation keeps step with Kathryn Thurman’s excellent text in a visual display of all life and its beauty.

Lily has a warm and loving relationship with her grandparents. She shares everything with them and they with her, and in this way learns lessons about the connection of everything in the Universe.

The smell of Grandma’s lavender fills the house as they pick and dry the bundles. Rain is setting in and outdoor activities slow and then stop due to the weather.

So does Grandma. She sits more often in her chair and then one day she is not there.

Winter comes early. Sadness fills the house. Anger fills Lily. She can’t accept the unfairness or bare the weight of her loss.

Grandpa keeps to his room. He has lost his smile as has all the family.

Then Spring arrives. The garden is overrun with weeds. Lily looks for signs of life beneath rocks and in the dirt. She remembers Grandma’s words: everything is part of something bigger.

The ground begins to move and come alive as things that live beneath, surface. Flowers start to sprout; a hedgehog is found in the bushes. The whole family joins in to celebrate the rebirth of the earth after its winter burial under the snow.

With a new season, a new circle of life begins. Grandma is everywhere; in the garden that they cared for, in the stars that they looked at together, in the baking and other countless activities they shared with love and togetherness. These memories keep Grandma alive in their hearts.

Title: The Biggest Thing of All
Author: Kathryn Thurman
Illustrator: Romina Galotta
Publisher: New South Books, $ 16.99
Publication Date: 18 March 2021
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781789561173
For ages: 4+
Type: Picture Book