The Trouble with Earth

Andersen. Feb. 2024. 32p.  $18.99. ISBN 9798765625293.
Gr 2-4–A personified Earth is shunned by the other planets who go on vacation without her. They believe she has fleas—and they’re right! She has fleas along with entire ecosystems because, well, she’s Earth. She’s full of life of all kinds. Earth informs the other planets that they can’t catch fleas because they’re not hospitable to life. Their fears soothed, they allow Earth to get in the hot tub with them. The book’s concept is creative and ridiculous. Earth is depicted as an adult who drives a car and presumably owns her own home, which adds to the absurdity of the narrative. She also has her own moon, depicted as a faithful dog. However, the tale is also gently instructive, telling readers which planets are too hot, too gassy, or too gravity-heavy to sustain life. Latimer’s text has a nice rhyme and rhythm and the illustrations have an appealing pastel palette.
VERDICT Delightful, zany, and informative. A worthy addition to any collection.

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