Colorful photographs and large, bold text fulfill the title’s promise.
The photographs are top-notch depictions of flora, fauna, landscapes, and seascapes, laid out carefully with the sparse text. The first double-page spread, which has three very different but equally stunning photographs, says simply: “Dear Earth,” with the following spread devoted to thanks for “water and those that float, / for slippery seaweed / and stone.” The next double-page spread changes venue and topics, and it ends with a rhyme to the previous verse. The rhythm and gentle rhymes of the text are soothing rather than urgent, allowing children plenty of time to stop and gaze at the details in the photographs, sometimes necessary in order to better understand the text. For example, there are some thanks for abstractions, and the photograph accompanying thanks “for struggles” shows a squirrel. Is it struggling to hang on to the slender twig it clutches or to grasp the twig in order to take a nibble? (Teachable moment: thanks for struggles?!) Little ones will enjoy the verses and photographs at face value, while elementary school–aged students may well read the simple—although far from simplistic—verses right through to the weightier prose at the end. Here the author lays out a good case for youngsters to become environmental activists and offers them some starting tools.
Strong planetary appreciation in art and text, for read-aloud or independent reading. (select resources and organizations) (Picture book. 3-9)