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All by Himself?

Illustrated by Giselle Potter

About The Book

A child spends the day building a castle with wooden blocks—all by himself! But was it really only his work that made his masterpiece possible?

What does it take to create something new? A whole lot of work—and a whole lot of people! The child may be the one to stack the building blocks. But someone had to transport the blocks, and someone had to carve the blocks from wood, and someone had to plant the tree that provided the wood for the blocks, and so on!

Written by National Book Award finalist Elana K. Arnold and gorgeously illustrated by Giselle Potter, this deceptively simple story reminds us that we are all connected—and that no one builds anything all by themselves.

About The Author


Elana K. Arnold writes books for and about children and teens. She holds a master’s degree in creative writing/fiction from the University of California, Davis, where she has taught creative writing and adolescent literature. She is a frequent speaker at schools, libraries, and writers’ conferences. She is the author of several acclaimed young adult novels including the Printz Honor book Damsel and National Book Award finalist What Girls Are Made of, as well as her picture books All by Himself?What Riley Wore, and An Ordinary Day. Currently, Elana is the caretaker of seven pets, only two of which have fur. She lives in Long Beach, California, and you can visit her at

About The Illustrator

Photo courtesy of the illustrator

Giselle Potter has illustrated many books, including Try It! by Mara Rockliff, All by Himself? by Elana K. Arnold, and Kate and the Beanstalk by Mary Pope Osborne, as well as her own Tell Me What to Dream AboutThis Is My Dollhouse, and The Year I Didn’t Go to School, about traveling through Italy with her parents’ puppet troupe when she was eight. She lives in Rosendale, New York, with her husband and two daughters. Visit her at

Product Details

  • Publisher: Beach Lane Books (September 6, 2022)
  • Length: 40 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781534489899
  • Grades: P - 3
  • Ages: 3 - 8
  • Lexile ® NP The Lexile reading levels have been certified by the Lexile developer, MetaMetrics®

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Raves and Reviews

"With a measured tone and quiet beauty, the creators celebrate people’s interdependency, indebtedness to nature, and the importance of recognizing one’s support structures."

– Publishers Weekly, 7/4/2022

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More books from this author: Elana K. Arnold

More books from this illustrator: Giselle Potter