Our Planet! There’s No Place Like Earth

Holt. (Our Universe, Bk. 6). Apr. 2022. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781250782496.
PreS-Gr 1–Earth loves its Earthlings, especially humans, and it hopes we love it back. After sharing facts about itself and the changes it has gone through over millennia, Earth explains the dangers of the climate crisis and offers some hope for change. The latest addition to McAnulty’s “Our Universe” series focuses on celebrating and protecting the planet. Concise, accessible text offers a wealth of information about Earth while imbuing the planet with a warm, friendly, and funny personality. Concepts such as the difference between weather and climate are effectively explained for young minds, while, in this example, Earth plays the role of meteorologist. Lush and emotive illustrations are filled with vibrant colors and packed with details to explore. When the impact of climate change is addressed, the illustrations are saturated with dark hues and frightening elements like fires and flooding. The normally friendly face of Earth is fearful, staring out of bloodshot eyes while its edges are frayed and melting. These illustrative choices effectively drive the mood to a somber place so the text can continue to focus on efficient information delivery. Importantly, after raising the alarm, the book offers multiple suggestions for improvement through alternate energy and lifestyle choices. The last illustrations feature a joyful, verdant Earth, who is clearly choosing hope over despair.
VERDICT Offering a helpful primer to difficult concepts, this engaging picture book is recommended for first purchase.

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