To Change a Planet

Scholastic. Aug. 2022. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781338628616.
PreS-Gr 2–In short, elegant lines of lyrical prose, Soontornvat explores the history of humanity’s relationship to Earth and confronts the modern threat of extreme weather events and environmental destruction. While these passages offer a sober warning, the book’s overall tone is hopeful, centered around the conviction that, just as we can exacerbate the effects of climate change, so too can we forestall and reverse them. Bell’s art, a combination of gouache and digital painting, provides a compelling mix of scientific illustration (a carbon molecule, a bleached coral reef) and metaphorical imagery (a benevolent face in the sun, atmospheric carbon represented as a quilt wrapped around the globe).
VERDICT This clear-eyed discussion of climate change will educate young readers without demoralizing them. A worthy purchase for all collections.

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