Member Reviews

I did not have time to download and read this book before it was archived, so I'm unable to leave a review.

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From the creator of "You Are Stardust" comes another fabulous creation. The main theme of the book is to highlight the complex, dynamic, and extraordinary connections and interconnections that exist in the Earth. It takes one beyond nations, politics, and right into the core of the meaning of human existence. This book explains the interconnections with wonderful illustrations. A great book for curious kids and adults. Highly recommend this book for classrooms, homes, nature clubs, and libraries.
#ecoliteracy #nature

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My 7 year-old reviewing partner, Fiona, and I both really liked this book and thought it was 4 stars (she thought perhaps 3 1/2). I love the subject and it reminds me of an adult book I'm reading now that is one of my favorites of the year, which has a surprisingly similar title -- Never Home Alone.

The basic premise of the book is that we are all connected to nature and that nature helps us, from trees that prevent floods to bacteria on our skin and in our stomachs that help keep us healthy. Whimsical multimedia illustrations accompany the text.

I agree wholeheartedly with the message, but it felt a little unfinished, like a rough draft that was rushed through publishing before perfecting the words and illustrations.

While my own kids love nature and know all about things like beneficial bacteria, some kids may be a little freaked out by talk about things like mites eating their faces. Even my nature loving Fiona looked a bit panicked at that part. All in all, it's a good book that has a fabulous message but could have been fabulous with just a little more time and tweaking.

My rating system:
1 = hated it
2 = it was okay
3 = liked it
4 = really liked it
5 = love it, plan to purchase, and/or would buy it again if it was lost

I read a temporary digital ARC of the book for the purpose of review.

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Elin Kelsey’s inspirational words along with Soyeon Kim’s breathtaking illustrations come together in the lovely You are Never Alone by Owl Kids.

This book is a lyrical reminder about the wonders all around us. The author reminds us we are really never alone, we have the incredible gifts bestowed upon us by Mother Nature all around, from the air we breath to the food we each, we are never alone in this world.

You are Never Alone is a call to action, to remind not only the children enjoying the story but also the grown up reading it about the precious fragility of our earth. Without the gifts we receive everyday from the earth, humans we not have shade to protect from the sun, delicious food on the table and plants to soothe and heal. Soyeon Kim creates multi-layered papercut worlds on each page spread filled to the brim with interesting elements. Each time you read you will notice something new and amazing. You can spend hours in quiet solitude pouring over the incredible art

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The whole earth is our community and we exist within "the blast of it's love."

Elin Kelsey and Soyeon Kim, with lyrical text and gorgeous art, make the interconnectedness of life here on our blue planet very clear. The positive message is scientifically based. Our relationships benefits us in remarkable ways. These two creators remind us that "Mother Nature has your back."

Did you know that mud and dirt is full of bacteria that releases serotonin that in turn, increases mood and makes you smarter! Now I know why I love to garden, and why, even though I wear gloves, they never stay on my hands for long.

You won't read about this in the book, but I couldn't help but realize that we tinker with our environments at our own peril.

Notes at the back of the book explain where the information comes from. You can also go to Owl Kids Books for more details. Once there you can watch videos of the author and illustrator discussing their work, download a Teacher's Guide, and much more.

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In a world where children are shuttled from home to daycare to school to indoor play areas, the scientific and social aims of this title (described by the author in her afterword) are inspirational and enormously helpful: She wanted to “look every kid in the eye” and tell them that they were surrounded by the gifts of nature and, therefore, could never be truly alone. Soyeon Kim’s illustrations are artistically significant and noteworthy in the variety of media used and their beautiful, whimsical quality. That said, while they do accompany the text in the most basic of ways, they often stand entirely independent and at times seem irrelevant. A scientifically-inclined title does not need illustrations of textbook precision, but one thinks that children would find it more educational to be presented with a less abstract representation of the book’s message.

Thanks to Owlkids and NetGalley for the advance copy of this title!

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I adore this book that shows children their connection with the natural world. I think it is so important children know the beauty and power of nature at a young age, so it becomes a part of them. In addition to spending a lot of time in nature, books like this help to show children the power and connection of nature. I love this message and will put it on my "gift book" list!

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You Are Never Alone is a colourful book that illustrates the interconnectedness of organisms in the universe.

The topic is one I think is important, and the book does a good job of providing examples of the ways different plants, animals, and inanimate forces work together to create this world in which we live. The bright and colourful illustrations are unique and interesting to look at.

I wanted to love this book, and by all accounts I really should have loved it, but somehow it just didn't connect for me. I give this book 3 stars, but I think it will be better loved by many.

Thank you to NetGalley and Owlkids Books for providing me with a DRC of this book.

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The concept of the story is brilliant, unfortunately as the book continued some of the descriptions of how we are not alone was a bit challenging to read. Also, the first part of the book was difficult to see the artwork and the connection of title, might have been the file and how it downloaded

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Elin Kelsey pulls through with a beautiful book about feeling connected to nature and the world all around you. The Author's note talks about how often the environment is presented to kids as something that is broken and needs to be fixed which only leads to worry and hopelessness but this is a wonderful example showing that the world is already beautiful and is so good to us so we should absolutely protect it. The artwork by Soyeon Kim is a beautiful addition that adds whimsy and brightness to an already heartwarming story.
This book is about Earth in a way that is very "down to Earth" (pun intended..). I think this explains how we, as humans, coexist on the planet with so many other things like bacteria, animals, plants, etc. in a way that is non-threatening to kids - I never thought I would smile reading about microorganisms on my skin or "wee little cleaning mites" on my face but this book achieves those warm fuzzy feelings, even with those topics.

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The creative pair who brought us You Are Stardust have created another book that combines whimsy with wisdom. The text reminds us of the myriad connections between us and the world. We "gobble fruits from plants pollinated by bats by night and bees in the day." Whether it is the air we breathe or the food we eat, everything in our lives is interlinked in many ways.

Kim's dioramas create illustrations that are as layered as those connections. Children shrink to the size of microorganisms, or help a beaver gather sticks. Others swim the sea with whales or ride on beetles. The tiniest details are there - seeds on strawberries, tiny plankton in the sea, and snails crawling on mangrove roots.

Anyone teaching the interconnectedness of nature - food chains, ecosystems, etc. will find this book a wonderful introductory text to spark discussions and inspire student dioramas and displays. But this is also a book to simply savor and reflect on. It offers hope and comfort and an antidote to loneliness. As it tells us, "You are never alone. Feel gravity hug you tight as you twirl around the sun."

I read an ARC provided by the publisher for review purposes. The text I have quoted may change slightly before final publication (although I hope not).

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A beautifully illustrated book with a lovely message about the interconnectivity of life on Earth. The idea that we are never alone, there is always some type of life around and within us is comforting, and I love the thought that gravity is hugging me as the Earth goes twirling through space!

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I requested this book from NetGalley because I read You Are Stardust years ago and really enjoyed it. You Are Never Alone is actually even better! It's all about interconnectedness, which is a topic I'm seeing more in children's books. I recently read Everything is Connected by Jason Gruhl and thought it was okay... but You Are Never Alone is everything I wish that other book had been. It doesn't just state that we're connected to everything; it actually shows and tells us how, through simple text and beautiful, unique illustrations.

Soyeon Kim's gorgeous illustrations are one of the main reasons I enjoyed You Are Stardust as much as I did, and they're just as wonderful here. Drawings and collage are combined to create cute, fantastical landscapes that show how we're connected to the world around us.

The environmental message doesn't hit readers over the head. At least, it didn't hit me over the head. I was too busy absorbing the interesting factoids and basking in the beauty of the pictures. The author's note at the end gives a little more information about the facts presented in the book, with a link for further information (

I would highly recommend this book to kids of all ages, and even to adults who appreciate good-quality picture books with beautiful artwork.

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You are Never Alone
By Elin Kelsey
Everything is connected and that means you too. We are connected to all the things around us making us never alone. The author does a good job of connecting us to our surroundings and brings light to things we probably don’t even think about. I think the title of this book would have been better if it had something to do with connections rather than you are never alone but after reading the book I understood more why it was titled as it was. The book was fun, with whimsical pictures. The verbiage had no rhyme or reason in sharing info and connections but they were all interesting and reassuring regardless.
I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion which I share here.

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This is a really neat book about how everyone is connected to nature. As much as I loved the concept, I loved the diorama type art that was used as illustrations. They really drew you into the story.

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The most striking thing about You Are Never Alone would have to be the artwork. Each page is a beautiful collage with images that pop off the page. It almost reminds me of early claymotion movies. The layering of images adds marvelous depth and reality to each page!

Elin Kelsey has created a wonderful book that explores our relationship to the world around us. In a very gentle way, children will learn how we depend on nature for so much of our life. Rain and sun nourish not only plants but are vital to people as well. Plants help create the oxygen we breathe. Earthworms "plow the soil" for the foods in our garden. The fruits we enjoy are pollinated by other helpers in nature.

I love the gentle introduction to science and the awareness of the interdependence of people and nature. The children sprinkled through the book are interacting with birds, and fish and other wildlife to creatively show how nature works together in amazing ways.

Explore the wonder of nature and some adorable kids and wildlife in You Are Never Alone. Readers will enjoy poring over each page again and again, noticing new and intereting things upon each reading.

Disclaimer: I received a digital copy of You Are Never Alone from NetGalley for the purpose of review. No other compensation was received.

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The illustrations are beautiful. The story.... it's a bit much. This is not for children. My nearly 4 year old was stuck on the word "poop". Fortunately he didn't dwell on the fact that our ice cream apparently comes from fish poop.

The subject matter is well above children's heads. It might be okay for ages 7 and up or would be a nice book for adults concerned with environmental matters or depression.

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I think that the author says it best:

" I want to look every kid in the eye and say, 'No matter what is happening in your life, you are never alone." This author would like for children to have some sense of hopefulness about their daily world and the planet that we all share. She expresses optimism about the ways in which nature replenishes the environment.

This book has truly lovely illustrations. They are charming and imaginative and suit the text perfectly. This book will be a welcome addition to young nature lovers bookshelves.

Please note: Some of the facts presented may be slightly off putting to children, as for example, noting the micro-organisms on our skin.

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for this advance read in exchange for my honest opinion

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I finished this book one day ago and was so conflicted on how to review it, I let it simmer over night. It didn’t help.

Kim’s illustrations are cute, but seem to really clutter the page rather than adding beauty or understanding to the story. They’re good illustrations, mind you, it’s just that there are so many per page that the story gets lost.

Kelsey’s story…where to begin with this one. Overall, it is a cute story of how everything in the universe is connected to each other. Because we are connected, everything that happens affects something else, in either a positive way or a negative way.

The story starts off cute with nature’s cycle of air and water providing a gift so everything can grow and be healthy. Kelsey then briefly “thanks” the decomposers and pollinators for their help in making everything grow. Then it gets a little weird.

Kelsey writes, “Ocean algae thicken the ice cream you eat. You devour fish who ate tiny plankton fertilized by poop from whales in the sea.”

While being factually accurate, as a parent, I know if I had read that to my son, he would never eat fish or ice cream again.

Now, many children know where their food comes from because they are rural families, or have parents who explain where the food we eat comes from, but do we really need a story to say that, in a round about way, you eat whale poop when you eat fish?

Kelsey’s story returns to the plants that help keep the seabed and sediment clean and stable, and the role that urban greenery plays in producing clean air. Then returns to the obtuse by pointing out that there are “cleaning mites” on your face that “evolved from mites that lived on the faces of your relatives.”

Okay, so now some children who read this may never eat ice cream or fish again, and now they may never want to touch another person’s skin because of the mites that live on it. Again, the information provided in the story is wholly accurate, but presented in a way that, for some children, would turn them off completely.

The story ends on a positive reinforcement of never really being alone because everything is around you and connected to you.

As someone who wrote their dissertation on the development of ecological citizenship, I applaud Kelsey and Kim for creating such a wonderful book that embodies many key tenets of biophilia, but as a parent, I think they missed the mark and the story may have unintended and undesired results.

Thank you NetGalley and Owlkids Books for the opportunity to read an advance reader copy.

I have to give this one two ratings:

Ecological citizen: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤
Parent: ❤ ❤ ❤

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I read this with our children and while they loved the detailed illustrations, the writing was a little harder for them to follow. The connection between us and the world around us, down to the microorganisms was an interesting concept but I am not sure it totally worked for our kids.

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