Many of the illustrations in All the World are inspired by grace notes in my life. The grandfather under the oak tree is an homage to my own immigrant grandfather, who had enough patience and faith in the future to grow oaks from acorns—trees he knew he would never live to see taller than himself. The little tree in front of the cafe is a mulberry tree he planted seventy years ago to remind him of his childhood in Lebanon. After he died, we carefully transplanted the tree to my parent’s house, and its berries have sweetened many summers and stained eight great-grandchildren’s clothes. The cafe itself was inspired by my hike to the Phantom Ranch cantina, which sits at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. I drew my zippy orange 2007 Honda Fit, and my faithful dog, Rocket, in its front seat, pulling out of the farmer’s market. The tulips, the Mediterranean architecture, the pink house, the purple-and-yellow sunset, the beach ball—all of it means stuff to me. I hope that readers will find many things in All the World that mean stuff to them, too.
I love Liz’s text because it celebrates the small things, the big things, children, and grown-ups in equal measure. And I love how it is all mixed up and jumbled together and interconnected and personal and universal."