San Antonio-based author Xelena González says she was inspired by the rhythms of life and patterns in nature when she set out to write her children’s book, “All Around Us.”
“The book is about the literal and physical circles in life, the cycles we encounter, the relationship between generations and the beauty that can be found within ourselves and within our immediate environment,” González says.
González says she modeled the two main characters, a girl and her grandfather, after her own daughter and her father. In the book, the grandfather points to a rainbow and explains to the girl how the world is full of literal and figurative circles.
“My favorite line in the book is in the very beginning: ‘The rainbow is just half of the circle; the other half is down below where water and light feed new life, but that’s the part we cannot see,’” González says.
González says that’s when the little girl realizes that she’s a part of life’s circles, too, just like the rainbow is part of its own circle.
The book is meant for children, but González says adults often come to her and her illustrator, Adriana Garcia, at book signings and confess it was meaningful to them, too.
“They thought they were the only one[s] crying … they weren’t,” she says. “[When] an adult doesn’t have to be a teacher or the parent or the responsible one … they all just let loose,” she says.
González says this showed her the effects illustrated books can have on readers of any age.
“Picture books, really, are for everyone; they’re not just for kids. And we’re happy that we were able to deliver that collaboratively,” González says.
Written by Savana Dunning.