Many: The Diversity of Life on Earth

Nicola Davies, illus. by Emily Sutton. Candlewick, $15.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-7636-9483-8
With a streamlined narrative and intricate, folk-art images evoking Mary Blair–illustrated Golden Books, Davies and Sutton, the team behind Tiny Creatures: The World of Microbes, sound an alarm about species extinction. Employing the concept of one versus many, the book asks, “How many different kinds of living things are there on our planet?” The answer is “Many!” and busy scenes of flora and fauna showcase an abundance of life across diverse ecosystems. Other spreads resemble pages from a field guide, with labeled vignettes of life forms, such as the SpongeBob fungus. The positive vibe ends, however, with a spread showing the various ways humans are destroying habitats. A redheaded girl—the book’s “tour guide,” who has admired and taken notes on wildlife—appears solo and sad on the last page, with the text warning, “We could not keep living on Earth if we had to count down instead of up from many to one.” Though the conclusion is dire (and no solutions to overpopulation are offered), this early entrée into environmental interconnectedness and stewardship should launch plenty of discussion. Ages 5–8. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/09/2017
Release date: 11/07/2017
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 40 pages - 978-1-5362-1596-0
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