Touch the Earth

Julian Lennon, with Bart Davis, illus. by Smiljana Coh. Sky Pony, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-5107-2083-1
Lennon’s debut picture book, the first in a planned trilogy, asks readers to hop aboard a magical airplane, the White Feather Flier (a name inspired by his father and his own environmental and humanitarian foundation), and go on a “helping adventure” to protect the planet’s oceans and water supply. The tactile theme of the title is a tip-off to the authors’ narrative approach: readers are asked to tilt the book as if operating the plane’s steering wheel (“Point the book south to swoop down low for a closer look”), and most spreads include a “button,” a silvery circle, intended to help readers pretend they’re part of the action (“Push the water button to help irrigate the desert”). It will probably be too quaint for older children, especially when coupled with the earnest, lightly pedantic text (“Fish are beautiful and important for so many people”), but members of the lap-sitting set should be intrigued. Coh’s (The Seven Princesses) drawings aren’t particularly distinctive, but they have a sweet-natured directness that may light up younger eyes. Ages 3–6. Authors’ agents: Robert Gottlieb and Alyssa Eisner Henkin, Trident Media Group. Illustrator’s agency: Bright Agency. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/06/2017
Release date: 04/01/2017
Genre: Children's
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