Books by Gita Daneshjoo

OUR LIVING EARTH by Isabelle Delannoy
by Isabelle Delannoy, photographed by Yann Arthus-Bertrand, illustrated by David Giraudon, translated by Gita Daneshjoo
Released: Nov. 1, 2008

Not even Arthus-Bertrand's fascinating aerial photos can rescue this wretched companion to Future of the Earth: An Introduction to Sustainable Development for Young Readers (2004). Subtitled "A Story of People, Ecology, and Preservation," the coffee-table-style volume sends viewers soaring randomly about the planet at low altitudes in a series of chapters on "Oceans," "Food" and like topics. Surrounding the photos (some of which fans of the photographer will have seen before) are small, generic, crudely done supplemental illustrations, along with brief passages of text laced with unsourced facts (or entirely wrong ones, such as a claim that the Baltic is a landlocked sea) and vague warnings of ecological peril. The writing is sophomoric ("Hunting is responsible for the decline of 95 percent of hippopotamuses since 1994"; "1.2 billion people do not have access to drinking water") with occasional descents into meaninglessness ("The Coastline: An Invisible Oasis"), and a near-total lack of direct references to the subjects of the photos. Candy for the eye, but empty calories for the brain. (Nonfiction. 10-12) Read full book review >