cover image The Earth is Good: A Chant in Praise of Nature

The Earth is Good: A Chant in Praise of Nature

Michael de Munn. Scholastic, $15.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-590-35010-5

DeMunn's (Places of Power) unabashed proclamation of nature's goodness hums along in plain, terse phrases: ""The sun is good./ The earth is good./ The trees are good."" In perhaps McMullan's most childlike watercolors to date, the artist connects the chant-like verse to the experience of a carefree boy exploring the great outdoors. His unusual technique shows the youth literally as a part of his surroundings: subtle outlines of tree branches and roots bleed through the boy's T-shirt and shorts, giving him the appearance of being inextricably linked to nature. Accompanied by a white puppy, the boy tests all his senses: he runs with arms outstretched, feeds a bird from his palm, leans into the wind and rain, floats a leaf on the river and bounces his voice off the mountains. The rhythmic simplicity of the words coupled with the boy's pure joy as he romps with his pup will likely capture the imaginations of many nature lovers. Ages 3-6. (Mar.)