Why I wrote "All the People of the World"
In February of 2002 I wrote All the People of the World to celebrate the idea of diversity and to share with our children the joy that can come from living in a tolerant diverse society. Looking around at the world that we inhabit today I think that the book is still very relevant. So I wish that All the People of the World would leap from hand to hand, from child to child and from child to parent where perhaps the lesson needs to be heard and learnt more urgently.
When I wrote All the People of the World I saw it as part of Desmond Tutu’s Rainbow Nation dream. Today I see it more broadly as a Global Rainbow dream. And as we ever increasingly mobile humans fan out across the globe the explosion of colour and contrast becomes more and more evident around us all. And the life of colour on the streets of our contemporary urban melting pots and our global villages grows increasingly exciting as we embrace everything from urban chic to shack chic. From Swazi red to Mexican every-colour, from woven telephone wire baskets to pink and purple Easter eggs, from Moroccan mosaics to Ndebele traditional dress the world is moving in colour. And All the People of the World was written to move with it: to skip along with it using the beat of rhyming verse – in celebration of fun and all that’s good about difference
In her review in Books and Leisure, Tanja Sakota-Kokot says that All the People of the World “is a fusion of contemporary popular culture that springs to life from the stalls of the Rosebank African Craft Market, well accompanied by eclectic witty verse.”
The illustrations are so detailed and so beautiful, so bright and intelligent that you will have to visit and revisit them just so that you don’t miss out on any of Catherine’s delightful detail. It is a book for the happy child in every one of us that would like to dip into a wonderful world of colour and difference. This is a book to share with your family and a book to leave on your coffee table to be picked up over and over again.
And if you want to use the book in the classroom, it is also a wonderful tool for the creative teacher who wants to teach colours, shapes, design, phonics, rhyme and vocabulary.
All the People of the World:
Is a celebration of what I see around me, minus all the negativity
Is about free, happy, successful people living without fear of judgment or rejection
Is a fantasy inspired by who we are and what we can be
Is about tolerance and multiculturalism
Is full of happy role models
Is written in rhyming verse
Is beautifully illustrated