cover image My Friend Earth

My Friend Earth

Patricia MacLachlan, illus. by Francesca Sanna. Chronicle, $17.99 (44p) ISBN 978-0-8118-7910-1

In this tender picture book, an anthropomorphized Earth, portrayed as a cherubic brown-skinned giant with long hair, makes her way through the seasons. After waking from a wintertime snooze, “My friend Earth” carries out various duties: nurturing habitats (“She tends the prairie where sun-dappled wild horses run/ through grasses that swish against their legs,” MacLachlan writes in lyrical lines) and assisting animals (“She guides the chimpanzee to her night rest”). Flaps and die-cut shapes create a dynamic reading experience; over one page turn, they show Earth moving from sleeping to waking to peering through a colorful bramble. Surreal illustrations by Sanna, rendered in pencil, ink, and digital painting, use saturated hues—sages, teals, and rusts—to show Earth as both cause and effect: she becomes and rides on the wind, rains on and then wrings out sopping trees, before finally “waiting” for another spring. A poetic entrée into Earth’s modes rendered with an appreciation for natural details. Ages 3–5. (Feb.)