One & Everything

One & Everything
Sam Winston
Walker Studio

Here’s something strange, a story about endangered languages. Its main characters are circles of various colours and sizes, every one contains symbols, characters and script from a living or extinct language, each representing a story. These include stories about ‘beautiful sunsets’, the bottom of the sea whereas some are ‘simply full of dogs.’

All seem to co-exist peaceably until one story decides to become the most important story in the world. It calls itself One, the Only story and goes around the world’s story-verse consuming each and every other story, and thus filling its belly.

Therein however, something is happening: some letters get together to make words and eventually a voice speaks thus, “… you’re not the One story then. You’re Every Story.” This causes the One to come to an understanding and it then explodes into a myriad of stories. What’s left is a question. “Maybe you can answer it, ‘ asks the author …

The telling thus far has been minimal but what follows is the author’s note. This describes in some detail first the importance of preserving endangered languages and then introduces us to the linguistic characters that are shown in the illustrations. I’m not sure who the intended audience for this picture book is, but this reviewer certainly found it interesting.