HomeBooks by AgeAges 4-8Thoughts on Back-to-School and All of Us

Thoughts on Back-to-School and All of Us

Carin Berger | The Children’s Book Review | September 7, 2018

Will I fit in? Do I have a place? Will I make friends? Will I be okay?

I have been thinking a lot about childhood and the back-to-school season, because, in a matter of days, my daughter will be packing her bags and traveling across the country to start her school year at a college in California. The thing is, this specific moment doesn’t feel that much different to me than the very first day of kindergarten so long ago. As I watch her prepare for the new year, full of hope and excitement, uncertainty and worry, I recognize the emotional stew she is experiencing and I see both the loveliness and difficulty of this point in time.


Illustration from ALL OF US by Carin Berger

Childhood is full of transitions and that is what gives it beauty. But change often brings uncertainty. The questions that often flood us are, perhaps, more pronounced at the start of the new school year: Will I fit in? Do I have a place? Will I make friends? Will I be okay? And yet these universal worries are not exclusive to back-to-school. Today, in our country, we are living in uniquely discordant and fraught times. Just like adults, kids are deeply affected by the divisive issues that are roiling our country, such as race, gender, poverty, and inequality. And, of course, they also struggle with feelings of loneliness, sadness and loss. So how do we help our kids navigate these feelings? How do we reassure them as they enter new situations? And, really, since we all have these feelings, how do we reassure all of us?


Illustration from ALL OF US by Carin Berger

These were the issues that I was wrestling with when I wrote my newest book, All of Us. I wanted to both broadly acknowledge the challenges that we all face, and offer, as an antidote, a positive message celebrating the power of hope, community and love. I wanted to reassure kids and their families that we, as a community, are here, as steady as stone, loving them, welcoming them, accepting them for exactly who they are. I wanted to reinforce the idea that in times of uncertainty and crisis, we are strongest when we all stand together. I hope as we enter another school year that we can welcome all of our children by making sure that they know that each one of them is needed, respected, and loved – that there is an important place in our communities for all of us.


Written and Illustrated by Carin Berger

Publisher’s Synopsis: Acclaimed and award-winning picture book creator Carin Berger shares a moving story of community, empathy, and the power of love.

With a universal message and stunning paper collage art, this striking book is just right for fans of Matt de la Peña’s Love and Emily Winfield Martin’s The Wonderful Things You Will Be.

Award-winning illustrator Carin Berger’s beautiful and timely picture book celebrates the power of community, family, and most of all, love. Her beautiful collage art and lyrical text offer a message of hope in the face of adversity.

All of Us is ideal for family sharing as well as year-round giving and is for fans of Nancy’s Tillman’s Wherever You Are and Alison McGhee’s Someday.

Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Greenwillow Books | May 2018 | ISBN-13: 978-0062694133

Available Here


Enter for a chance to win an autographed copy of Carin Berger’s All of Us, plus some fun book related goodies…book marks and post cards and coloring pages, oh my!

One (1) lucky winner receives:

  • A signed copy of All of Us
  • Book related goodies: book marks, coloring pages, and post cards

Giveaway begins September 7, 2018, at 12:01 A.M. MT and ends October 7, 2018, at 11:59 P.M. MT.

How To Enter
  • Complete the entry form below.
  • Enter once daily (optional).
Giveaway Rules
  • Enter between 12:00 AM Mountain Time on September 7, 2018, and 11:59 PM on October 7, 2018.
  • Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older.
  • Winners will be selected at random on or about October 10, 2018.
  • Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.
  • The Children’s Book Review is not responsible for prize fulfillment.
Prizes Courtesy of Carin Berger

Discover more books like All of Us, written and illustrated by Carin Berger, on The Children’s Book Review by following along with our articles tagged with , and .

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Bianca Schulze is the founder of The Children’s Book Review. She is a reader, reviewer, mother and children’s book lover. She also has a decade’s worth of experience working with children in the great outdoors. Combined with her love of books and experience as a children’s specialist bookseller, the goal is to share her passion for children’s literature to grow readers. Born and raised in Sydney, Australia, she now lives with her husband and three children near Boulder, Colorado.

  • My 6 year old grandson lives in Boston and his school has many kids with English as a Second Language. He would enjoy this book and would share it with his newborn brother. When my kids were growing up, their elementary school had kids from all over the world. There was an ESL teacher to help them bridge the transition to learning English. We had International Night and hand up a flag for each classroom’s country. The food,art, music, dancing and crafts were an experience. The kids had “Passports” where they got a stamp for every country where they stopped. Sharing cultures of other countries was a heartwarming event.

    October 6, 2018

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