Book Review of The Piece That is You
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The Children’s Book Review
The Piece That Is You
Created by Gayle Holdman
Illustrated by Dallin Orr and Irina Harding
Ages 5-10 | 38 Pages
Publisher: Roots of Humanity Foundation | ISBN-13: 9781792369056
What to Expect: Finding a voice, Humanities, Culture, and Celebrating Differences
Based on actual events, The Piece That is You follows the journey of a boy who struggles with speech. This remarkable picture book imparts beautiful messages of belonging, perseverance, teamwork, and harmony.
Gayle Holdman uses couplets to tell the story of this shy boy who uses stained glass as his voice and art as a form of expression. Because his voice is so big, he needs “artists and scholars and painters of glass” to help him achieve his vision. After creating a large display (titled Roots of Knowledge) narrating all that humans have accomplished together over thousands of years, we are shown how each of us is different and unique but an important piece of this larger artwork.
In addition to the fun rhymes used by Holdman, readers are given beautiful illustrations from Dallin Orr and Irina Harding. These soft pictures draw the reader into the story and help show the importance of how each piece works together to make a whole image. One of the most striking parts of the book is how Orr and Harding combine illustrations with photographs of the Roots of Knowledge. Another fun feature in the artwork is a little star found on each page, often displaying emotions.
This book is a delightful read for children and adults alike. Between the creative writing, the fantastic illustrations, the historical elements, and the inspiring nature of creativity and art, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
If you find yourself curious about the Roots of Knowledge, the 200-foot one-of-a-kind stained-glass mural featured in The Piece That Is You, more information can be found at https://www.uvu.edu/rootsofknowledge/.
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About the Author
Growing up super shy and sensitive, Gayle Holdman knows what it feels like to wonder where you fit in. She also knows that miracles happen once you figure that out. She really loves people and helping them see how amazing they are. To do that better, Gayle got an education in Human Development, Positive Psychology, and Spanish. Plus, she studies other languages and interesting stuff about humans every day. She is also a best-selling author.
Working with stained glass has taught her even more about the importance of every single piece (person). Gayle is grateful to live, write, and create at the foot of ginormous and beautiful rock-filled mountains. For fun, she adores cooking and paper crafting but hates the clean-up! The absolute most important pieces of her heart and life are her husband, Tom, and their three unique and precious children.
For more information, visit https://thepiecethatisyou.com/.
Read our exclusive interview: Gayle Holdman Discusses The Piece That Is You
About the Illustrators
As a child, Dallin Orr loved to draw, especially things like monsters, planets, and dinosaurs. He followed his gift and passion for creativity and ended up earning a Masters of Fine Art in Illustration. Beginning as a student intern, Dallin quickly became one of the lead artists for the Roots of Knowledge project. Dallin loves learning about history and philosophy, going rock climbing, and jamming with his band. Sometimes you’ll find him making bleeps and bloops with his electronic music equipment.
Irina Harding has always loved drawing and art. Now, she also loves to teach art to children. She’s passionate about seeing and encouraging the creativity children naturally possess.
Born in Russia, Irina moved to the United States when she was 21. It was challenging to live in a different culture, speak a different language, and still can be. Nevertheless, she loves new experiences, meeting new people, and exploring the world, through books, movies, and travel. Some of the most important pieces of Irina’s life are her family, including her husband, five children, two stepchildren, and pets. She loves getting out in nature, especially hiking or camping. Irina is working towards a degree in illustration from Utah Valley University.
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