FICTION

Make the Earth Your Companion

illus. by Anna Balbusso & Elena Balbusso. 32p. Creative Editions. Mar. 2017. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781568462691.
COPY ISBN
Gr 4–6—Brief, evocative phrases invite readers to experience Earth's grandeur and to "walk lightly on it, as other creatures do." Lewis's poetic glimpses of different regions stir reflection. "Learn from the sea how to face harsh forces." Some of the allusions will be more accessible to children than others. The woodland can be "your house of peace" and the rain forest "your canopy of hope." Some suggestions are elusive. Why "meet the wetland on twilight ground"? And what might it mean to "hear the desert whisper hush to eternity"? Created by illustrators established in Italy, the sweeping computer-generated views blend realism and fantasy, illuminating the poetry with mixed results. Set in golden light, the mountains are grand, and the blue world of the penguins among ice caps evokes glistening, crystalline majesty. However, the clustered trees of the woodland have the look of a comic book creation, and the canoe passengers on the river appear to be riding through a hodgepodge of human detritus. Some views contain messy and confusing lines of scribble. Lewis moves from the world of nature to that of humans in his conclusion: "Feel the town weave a small basket of togetherness."
VERDICT With a large picture book format and lofty metaphors, this title will not likely find many readers among children, yet it offers possibilities for developing classroom discussion and perhaps stimulating writing and art responses to the very timely topic of human/nature relationships.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.


RELATED 

Community matters. Stay up to date on breaking news, trends, reviews, and more.

Get access to 6000+ annual reviews of books, databases, and more

As low as $12/month