If We Were Gone: Imagining the World Without People

John Coy, illus. by Natalie Capannelli. Millbrook, $19.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-5415-2357-9
In this disturbingly beautiful dystopian meditation, Coy uses direct and dreamy language, encouraging readers to imagine a world without humans—“Pipes would burst/ and pavement buckle.” The net effect imagined is undeniably beneficial: “The air would become cleaner/ with each rainfall.// Plants and animals would grow wild/ and forests and jungles expand.” Coy’s point: “People need water to live./ We need air to breathe./ We need plants to survive./ But do they need us?// Maybe not.” Capannelli’s watercolors show crumbling structures, rising waters, and animals merrily scavenging, beady eyes peering out from broken computers. A closing note states that “virtually 99.999 percent of all life on the planet has gone extinct” and calls readers to action: “This is the planet you are going to live on. What will you do to protect it?” Ages 5–10. (Mar.)
Reviewed on : 03/05/2020
Release date: 03/01/2020
Genre: Children's
Portable Document Format (PDF) - 32 pages - 978-1-5415-7892-0
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