While satellite photographs of Earth may seem like an everyday sight, this collection, adapted from Grant’s Overview: A New Perspective of Earth (2016), is far from mundane.
The images are rich in saturated color and even more impressive in their tantalizing diversity, including artificial structures that range from an immense parking lot beside a Montgomery, Alabama, car factory to a stunning image of Palm Jumeirah (human-crafted islands in Dubai)—and before-and-after images of wildfire damage to a suburb in California. Photos of the natural world are even more remarkable. Even from space, Niagara Falls is immense and powerful. Mount Fuji rises above the landscape with its gaping, snow-filled crater. River deltas in their intricate tracery, the drought-ravaged landscape of South Africa, and tulip fields of the Netherlands in full bloom—each image inspires thoughtful examination. While numerous landscapes are included for their pure beauty, many more illustrate powerful lessons on the changes humankind has wrought on the face of the Earth: They are vivid admonitions on climate change, deforestation, and pollution. At times the fairly small text is presented on a dark background that’s dramatic in appearance but challenging to read, but this is a small quibble. Fine backmatter includes an index that provides map coordinates for each illustrated site. Using these, readers can travel via Google to more detailed information.
An inspiring, sometimes frightening, always richly thought-provoking exploration of our shared home. (Nonfiction. 8-18)