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THE EARTH AND I by Frank Asch


by Frank Asch & illustrated by Frank Asch

Age Range: 4 - 6

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1994
ISBN: 0-15-200443-2
Publisher: Harcourt

 In this bland consciousness-raiser, Asch (Hands Around Lincoln, p. 63, etc.) casts the relationship between a boy and nature as friendship. ``The Earth and I are friends. Sometimes we go for long walks together.'' Each drop of rain, each fingernail on the boy's hand, each brick of his house is rendered in a ripple of rainbow hues, giving Asch's simple shapes and usually spacious compositions a crowded, overworked look. The ``friendship'' is portrayed largely in figurative, generalized, or symbolic ways. To ``tell her what's on my mind,'' the lad stands on a tortoise whose shell markings suggest a world map; later, coming upon a littered, polluted stream (``When she's sad, I'm sad''), he carries the trash away (to where?) and plants a flower. In the last scene, he hugs a tree. Worthy insight perhaps, but so painfully earnest that readers are unlikely to feel more than a superficial, temporary response. (Fiction/Picture book. 4-6)