We’ve Got the Whole World in Our Hands adapted and illustrated by Rafael López is a lively picture book based on the original hymn, He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands, which has now become a popular member of the folk music genre. The words joyfully invite children and animals from all over the world to sing, dance and clap together in celebration of the sun, the wind, nature and each other.
The illustrations are expansive, colorful and captivating in the details such as a picture of a boy carefully studying a snail that sits protected in the palm of his hand. The author-illustrator has used a variety of approaches from collage to photoshop to create the eye-popping pictures of children playing in the sun and singing in the rain. One of the most outstanding illustrations is a vertical two-page picture layout of a hot air balloon rising in the night sky full of smiling children from many cultures. Also, a monkey, a giraffe, a gorilla and a rhino are pleased to be aboard.
One scene after another is held together by a constant unrolling of a ball of multi-colored yarn which visually holds the unity of the pictures and the world together. This balances well with the rhythmic repetition of the song’s words and refrain which auditorily hold the story together.
We’ve Got the Whole World in Our Hands adapted and illustrated by Rafael López and offered in both Spanish and English editions, is an energetic and multi-generational “read and sing” for parents, grandparents and young children 3-5 years of age (Orchard Books/ Scholastic, 2018).