cover image The Big Book for Our Planet

The Big Book for Our Planet

. Dutton Books, $17.99 (144pp) ISBN 978-0-525-45119-8

Proceeds from the sale of this delightfully variegated volume will benefit six environmental groups, and any child or adult who browses through these pages will also profit--from the many eloquent, trenchant statements issued through words, art or an inspired blending of the two. An introduction by the editors stresses ``that what the Earth needs is more clean water, fresh air, trees, bats, whales, and mushrooms--and less garbage, traffic, and pollution.'' This point is made a number of times with a varying degree of clarity and effectiveness, from Tana Hoban's brief, forthright plea to ``take time to care,'' illustrated with six simple nature photos; to H. M. Hoover's rather obscure fable about an ancient, giant mushroom over which a mall is built. Natalie Babbitt, Marilyn Sachs and William Sleator are among those who deliver their messages with generous doses of wry humor; Anne Rockwell, Jane Yolen and Tomie dePaola present poems; and Milton Meltzer, Seymour Simon and Laurence Pringle offer concise pieces on, respectively, the accomplishments of Frederick Law Olmsted, wetlands, and bats. As diverse as these contributions is the artwork by an equally prominent group of illustrators, among them Barbara Cooney, Leo and Diane Dillon, Diane Goode, Steven Kellogg, Jerry Pinkney and Paul O. Zelinsky. The assembled talent proves equal to its mission. All ages. (Oct.)