If all the world were… by Joseph Coelho & Allison Colpoys


Published by Frances Lincoln Children’s Books, an imprint of The Quarto Group, 2018.

If all the world were… is a stunning and wonderfully poignant picture book. It is an imaginative and original exploration of a girl’s feelings as she comes to terms with her grandad’s illness and death. It is a poetic and lyrical text with some of the most beautifully touching lines imaginable.


The book moves through the seasons and we watch grandad and granddaughter take walks and explore nature together, build a racing track, and share stories. Their connection is deep and special.


With winter comes Grandad’s death. While helping her parents clean out Grandad’s room, the little girl finds “a kaleidoscope of memories” from their times together: dried flowers, a racing car, a pack of rainbow-nibbed pencils… She begins to understand the value and the power of memories:

If all the world were memories,

the past would be rooms I could visit

and in each room would be my grandad.

She discovers a notebook that Grandad has made for her. She fills it with all of her memories of Grandad and finds comfort remembering the laughter and smiles they shared.


The subject matter of death and grief is dealt with gently and sensitively. If all the world were… is an empowering story which will help children understand their own and others’ experience of loss. It is illustrated beautifully throughout in a warm colour palette of rich reds, oranges, golds, browns and blues. The gorgeous pictures are vibrant and joyful: a celebration of love and special times shared.

Rating: 💙💙💙💙💙

Suitable for children aged 3+

We borrowed this book from Birmingham Libraries.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.