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This beautiful picture book teaches kids to connect with themselves, with others, and with nature

Me and You and the Universe

written and illustrated by Bernardo Marçolla

Bringing together the worlds of social and emotional learning (SEL) and STEM, this calming and colorful picture book illustrates how we are all connected. By taking the reader on a journey from the minuscule (cells, the building blocks of nature) to the massive (a universe that is infinite), Me and You and the Universe teaches children about the importance of connecting with others, with nature, and with themselves. The message of universality and connectedness helps foster an appreciation for nature and our world’s ecology.

Author and illustrator Bernardo Marçolla beautifully articulates the value of learning at an early age to look up to the sky and, as we see the stars, to know that we are part of them. The world will remain the same, but if we open our eyes and our hearts, our experience will be completely different.

“Although we seem different from each other, all of us, deep down inside, are very similar.”

Also available by Bernardo Marçolla: All You Can Imagine, a book about the power of imagination
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Hardcover $16.99 85225 Hardcover 85225 $16.99

View where you can purchase the eBook.

Hardcover with Jacket: 978-1-63198-522-5
Reading Level: Grade 3
Interest Level: Ages 5–8
Guided Reading Level: P
Lexile Measure: AD 710L
Illustrated: color illust.
Trim Size: 8.25" x 9"
Page Count: 36
Praise for Me and You and the Universe

“This is the kind of book that opens your heart a little wider to help you love just a little bit more. Share it with every kid you know.”—Jill Twiss, author of A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo and senior writer at Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

“This gentle tale about the multitude of invisible threads that connect us to other people, to all living things, and to the universe itself is a powerful tool for building empathy and compassion in children and adults alike.”—Michele Borba, Ed.D., author of End Peer Cruelty, Build Empathy and Unselfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All-About-Me World
“From a single cell to the infinite stars, Bernardo Marçolla's Me and You and the Universe is a stunning and relatable tour of diversity, inclusion, and each person's place in the interconnected ecology of our planet.”—Garth Sundem, author of the Real Kids, Real Stories series and STEAM In a Jar®
3-LS1-From molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
3-LS2-Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
3-LS3-Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits
3-LS4-Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity
3-ESS3-Earth and Human Activity
  • Common Core State Standards


  • ASCA Mindsets & Behaviors for Student Success

    MS.3, MS.6, BS.SMS.1, BS.SMS.9, BS.SMS.10, BS.SS.2, BS.SS.3, BS.SS.4, BS.SS.5

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User Reviews

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May 25, 2021 / Bruno
Insightful piece

Bernardo does a unique job writing and drawing. This colorful masterpiece dives deep into our mind and - why not - our soul, provoking us to think in a completely different way about our lives, connections and the true purpose that guides us. A must have book to children and adults, it shows the peculiar sensitive touch Bernardo has.

May 1, 2020 / Cibele Castro - Brazil
Beautiful, deep and sensitive

My kids and I just love it. Deep, sensitive and - at the same time - accessible to children.

March 17, 2020 / Renata Lara - Brazil
Lovely Book

The book has a unique sensitivity. With easy and accessible language, wide symbology and beautiful references, the author follows a train of thought that leads us to realize how everything and everyone is intimately connected. In fact, it’s not only a book to be read, but it is also to be appreciated with the eyes.

March 12, 2020 / Cris Bicalho - Belo Horizonte - BRAZIL
A necessary story nowadays

As a teacher in Brazil, that´s a long time that I haven´t read a book so interesting. Although it has been written for children, the author´s sensitivity reached all age range. Me and You and the Universe shows us in an ethically and poetic manner as living beings can get along with each other, showing us that empathy is the mechanism for the universe to help us. For that, there is a very simple way: taking care of each other. Is there another sustainable way to do this? More than a beautiful story: a necessary story nowadays.

March 12, 2020 / Laura Califf - La Grande, OR
Me And You And The Universe

This book is great!! The story has a sweet message. It is simple enough for a child to understand yet enjoyable for adults as well. The illustrations complete the message to make it a well rounded children's book. I highly recommend reading it and giving it to all the children you know.

March 10, 2020 / Nanda - Van Houten
What a Beautiful Book!!!

I love this book so much because it speaks to everyone! It contains the most important message: the connection that we can have with ourselves and with each other. Love is the most powerful force of this universe and this book was able to give this message in a way that anyone can understand. I love it!!!!

February 26, 2020 / Sam - New York, NY
A book with an amazing heart.

My 5-year-old daughter loves this book, and so do I. It somehow manages to teach a lesson in a few simple pages that most people take a lifetime to learn—if they learn it at all! That lesson being that we can't connect to other people (or with the earth, the universe, life itself) until we connect with ourselves, "with both our light and our shadow." Bravo to Mr. Marcolla and Free Spirit Publishing for putting this important message—and beautiful illustrations—out into the world.


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