This Pretty Planet

S. & S./Atheneum. Nov. 2020. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781534445321.
PreS-Gr 2–With two siblings to guide readers, the popular children’s song gets a remix that becomes a tender picture book poem celebrating the wonder, variety, and fragility of Earth. A bunny wakes two children as their bed sails out the bedroom window via hot air balloon. One child has brown skin, hair in double buns, and a polka dot nightgown, and the other wears striped pajamas and has peach skin and short red hair. They float over their sleeping town, then on to brighter destinations. They peer down on a duck and crocodile flying kites as the poetic text begins, “Winds blow. Tides flow.” They sit on a giant mushroom to admire constellations. A time line shows Western civilization from the pyramids, through the era of the Mayflower, the Industrial Revolution, and up to the Information Age. The illustrations are bright and filled with details. There are mermaids in the water and houses shaped like books, as well as more somber images such as dirty smokestacks and landfills. Those are followed with more empowering ones of the children picking up litter and composting. Sheet music on the endpapers repeat the text set to the song’s simple melody. Due to the detailed illustrations and abstract themes, this is not a good fit for large group read-alouds, but those same features make it a lovely choice for starting conversations with small groups or one-on-one.
VERDICT Many songs have been turned into picture books, but this one is particularly deft at capturing hope and possibility, which defined the original work. It’s a sweet accompaniment to Earth Day sing-alongs.

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.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing