One & Everything
Inspired by the Endangered Alphabets project, Winston tells a story of many languages of the world, represented in soft water-coloured bubbles filled with different script patterns. The bubbles start to be devoured by a black and white bubble that decides it is the most important story in the world. As The One and Only Story consumes all the other stories, the illustrations move from many colourful bubbled pages to a growing black blob, to a solid black page.
At this point, a tiny orange bubble asks The One and Only Story if it contains all the words to all the stories it has eaten. When The One proudly replies yes it does, the orange bubble observes it isn’t One Story, it is Every Story. And with that, the colour bubbles explode back onto the book’s pages and all the scripts of the world mingle and float across a sea of white paper.
This book is a stunning work of art. The combined watercolours, typographical illustrations and textual layout make this book a feast for the eyes. The story may not engage young readers, but older children and adults will devour the fascinating backmatter: alphabets, maps and an author’s note detailing all the scripts used in the illustrations. The implications for lost languages may be too abstract for some children, but the importance of written words to tell our stories can be explored with great success through this book. A beautiful celebration of the diversity of language and story.