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

Friday 9 December 2022

Review: One and Everything

One and Everything is many layered. It's an artwork, a message, and a prompt for thought and discussion inspired by the Endangered Alphabets project.

This is a book about: stories and storytelling, words and language, culture, oral traditions, and expression. At its heart is language and written scripts.

Who is it for? One and Everything is a picture book best suited for older readers, those in at least upper primary and into early high school, and for adults. 

It deals with complex concepts that need the support of teachers and/or parents to help understand and interpret them.

Probably most useful in a classroom setting for language and social sciences discussions. Also useful in an art and design context, due to its application of typology and colour throughout.

One and Everything will also benefit from multiple readings and detailed exploration, including the additional information at the back of the book. It includes information about 10 of the unusual language scripts used. There's also a map showing where the book's 50 different scripts come from, and a list of them in both English and the scripts themselves.

According to creator Sam Winston there are an estimated 7,000+ languages spoken around the world. His author's note explains there are questions underlying what you read in One and Everything. Questions about how languages do or will survive or not. How they change and grow or are lost.

An unusual and rather difficult to describe book, One and Everything is a reminder of the importance of language in its many forms.

Title: One and Everything
Author/Illustrator: Sam Winston
Publisher: Walker, $29.99
Publication Date: November 2022
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781529509298
For ages: ages 9-13 (and older)
Type: Nonfiction picture book for older readers