My Friend Earth

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Earth, depicted in this lavish picture book as a young brown-skinned girl, wakes up from her hibernation through winter to the sound of a farmer’s hoe in the garden and the caw of crows. Earth tends the sun-dappled prairie where wild horses run, and guards the huge shoals of krill in the ocean; in summer, she makes rain flow down mountains to rivers and seas. In autumn, Earth brings the winds that blow the leaves off the trees, and in winter she makes a bed in the snow and goes to sleep again.

Francesca Sanna’s stunning illustrations really are the star of this lovely picture book which (rather like Disney’s Moana) depicts Nature as a young girl deity, tending the landscape which is a part of her. On each page, creative die-cuts add interest and lead the eye to the next page’s illustrations, creating a sense of flow between the pages and the seasons. McLachlan’s poetic (but unrhyming) text includes references to the fact that sometimes Earth’s power results in floods and strong winds, though doesn’t include an explanation as to why this might happen. As a poetic take on caring for the environment, it’s a nice one to inspire children to want to be a good friend to Earth, who will perhaps read this alongside some factual books about nature when they get a little older.

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