Mason and Welch present a story that folds in on itself and then out. Swirling colors and abstract spirals telescope from the universe, to the galaxy, to a valley and a village, to a home, a child's bedroom, the child snuggled beneath a quilt, to the child's own heart. With a quote from Einstein as its touchstone, the text opens into sweet rhythms: "Inside all / Is a universe / Energy flowing / Inside the universe / Is a galaxy / Milky and glowing." With richly-colored mixed media swirls that resolve into hills and tress, windows and bedrooms, each opening displays double-page, full-bleed pictures with a single white star superimposed throughout. The last line of each three-line text curves to echo the spiral motif. The images tend towards the abstract but are recognizable, creating a very gentle and quite moving bedtime story.
- Kirkus Review (August 1, 2008)
“Inside all / Is a universe / Energy flowing.” So begins a journey at the outermost edge of everything. Inside the universe is a galaxy, milky and glowing, and inside the galaxy is a planet, blue and hopeful. The text moves from space to earth, from valley to village, and finally to a home where a child sleeps. Now the book takes a more metaphysical turn as it explains that “Inside your heart / Is all / Love overflowing.” The impressionistic artwork, swirling and whirling, starts out with the blues of the sky and becomes more solid once on earth, with trees, snow, and starshine falling around a brown house. Under the bedcovers, which look as much like earth and sea as blankets, a child s face peeks out; then the art becomes ethereal once more, taking the child to the top of a mountain. Attractive in look and compact and appealing in story, this brings the idea of interconnectedness to a level young children can understand. The soothing tone makes it a good bedtime choice as well.
— Booklist (October 1, 2008)
What child hasn’t thought, “The world is so big and I am so small!” A sense of security – and a sense of one’s place in a big world – is important to everyone. For the children in your life, a heartwarming and whimsical new book, Inside All, beautifully conveys the good feeling of being connected to the universe, easily envisioning every other child, all over the world, also being connected. In just over 100 well-chosen words, author Margaret H. Mason focuses on the great cosmos, then down to the heart of a sleepy child at bedtime, and finds them equally magnificent. Amazingly, Inside All is illustrator Holly Welch’s first picture book. Through her use of color and repeating patterns to emphasize recurring themes, she brings nature to life and connects it with the life of a child. She gave birth to her son Summit while working on this book – and feels that his presence on the inside influenced the images. Inside All would make a particularly wonderful Valentine’s Day memory with your children.
— Kids Vermont (February 2009)
This quiet bedtime story will both relax and reassure a little one as it gently defines his or her connection to the world. Starting with “Inside all is a universe” it narrows its focus on each double-page spread until it returns, full circle, to “Inside your heart is all.” A bright white asymetrical star is superimposed on every set of vibrant images. Each line of five or six words is followed by a brief phrase that ends with an adjective, usually participial, containing a long “o.” The text is soothing and melds well with the rich tones of the illustrations.
— New Jersey Youth Services – Mary Ellen Monahan (Dec. 2008)
Beginning with the universe and working inward to the heart of a child, this is a “nesting” storybook, designed to draw attention to the interconnectedness we all have with our world. The illustrations are vibrant as page by page they move closer into the child’s sphere: the village, the home, the bed and until finally, “inside your heart is all, love overflowing.” The text is simple and the illustrations are pleasing to look at. It’s a comforting bedtime story for the very young.
— New Jersey Youth Services – Jennifer Locke (March 2010)
Inside All is a journey from the universe into the heart of a child, reminding us that we are all a part of the “ALL” and the “ALL” is inside us.
— Mother Rising (February 2009)
Beginning with the great starry universe and step by step on a nesting doll-like journey the reader is taken to the nestled heart of a child. Vibrant mixed media illustrations in combination with natural easy rhyme convey that we all have a safe place in the often overwhelming expanse of our surroundings. We belong inside all, connected to nature.
— Decorah Public Library Reviews (December 2009)
This book takes us on a journey inside the starry universe, then to a galaxy, a planet, and eventually we find ourselves snuggled in a cozy bed; from there we move into our own hearts where we find all and love overflowing. The illustrations by Holly Welch are aglow with color and movement. A delightful glimpse of Oneness.
— Light of Consciousness (Autumn 2009)
Moving from universe to galaxy, from planet to village home, to one sleeping child, this unusually sensitive picture book shows how each of us is connected to nature and the immense universe in very personal ways.
— Topeka Capital-Journal – Barbara & Gary Bleeker (December 20, 2008)