In my novel, The Children of Gaia, there is a chapter where teenage Sarah has…
“Wonderful images, subtle soft colours but jam packed with so much detail and joy. The message throughout is so welcome and mindful of the fact we are all part of creation. Whether we see ourselves as big or little, the gentle text reminds us we are part of everything and together we are strong. Thank you Esther.”
L. Chapman, UK.
Praise doesn’t come much higher than that! At first glance Togetherverse is a children’s book but when I watched the video I realised how much we grownups need it too. If you are viewing this post on a phone, you might not be able to read the text of Togetherverse but you’ll see and hear it on the video. Intrigued, I wrote to this very talented young author/illustrator to find out more.
“Delving into the question of what it means to be a part of the world, Isabel and the creatures of Togetherverse celebrate the interconnectedness of our living Earth. From the little toes that help us stand tall, to the giant thunderclouds bringing rainbows to stormy afternoons – all it takes is a bit of time and curiosity to discover the world at our doorstep, and feel the beauty in our togetherverse.”
Esther explained, “I wrote and illustrated the first version of Togetherverse when I was 19. At the time I was living in Oakland, California and going to art college. I knew I wanted to write and illustrate picture books, and one summer made it my goal to complete one before going back for the fall semester. One day when I was taking the bus to the supermarket I saw a girl, about ten years old, who was wearing a galaxy shirt, ripped jeans and dragging a turtle behind her in a red wagon. That was when I thought of the first line which originally was, “I have some of the universe on my shirt,” later changed to “I spilled some of the universe on my shirt…” About five years ago, my mother suggested that I re-illustrate that story, which was how this new version came to be.”
“The concept behind the story was inspired greatly by one of my favorite books growing up by Brian Froud and Alan Lee called Faeries. I remember being particularly taken with one illustration that had an ant with a human face and a caption describing that faeries could be anywhere or anything. After that book I always had trouble killing bugs, and later even picking flowers. It ingrained in me a respect for everything in my environment- every hill, rock, and blade of grass is alive and should be respected as you would any family member or friend. In Togetherverse I hoped to pass on a similar message, and celebrate the connectedness that is our enchanting planet.”
It will be obvious to those of you familiar with my own books, why I love this beautiful little book with its big, heartfelt message. What a great present for someone we love, no matter what their age!
CLICK HERE to purchase Togetherverse by Esther Samuels-Davis.