Everything Changes: And That’s OK

Bala Kids. Sept. 2022. 32p. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781611809299.
PreS-Gr 2–The concept of impermanence is tenderly and cleverly explained in this lushly illustrated picture book. Rhyming couplets provide numerous child-centered examples of change, along with the reassurance that it is both necessary and good. Scenarios range from the personal to the natural and celestial; just as the moon gives way to dawn and yellow dandelions morph into white fluff, friendships and interests change and people grow old. Everything must end—“it’s the natural way”—and this picture book gently shares that often uncomfortable and painful truth with young minds. While Buddhism is not mentioned in the body of the text, the author’s note expands on the concept of impermanence and its role in that faith. The note explains that wanting things to stay the same can cause pain, but expecting and welcoming change can help a person adapt and hope. The illustrations are bold, rich in color and texture, and reminiscent of Rousseau in style and in the inclusion of abundant flora and fauna. Through these illustrations readers travel the world, with settings established through landscapes and architecture, as well as plants and animals native to each place. Children from around the world are featured as well, in clothing and through performing activities representative of their homelands. Well suited for reading aloud thanks to its concise rhyming text, the content would also serve as a great springboard for conversations about change, loss, and adaptability.
VERDICT Honest and soothing, this picture book meditation on impermanence is recommended for general purchase.H

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