cover image When the Earth Shook

When the Earth Shook

Lisa Lucas, illus. by Laurie Stein. Tilbury House, $17.95 (36p) ISBN 978-0-88448-808-8

An anthropomorphized look at climate change finds stars Alya and Atik with one job: twinkling above Earth, where plants, animals, and eventually humans look up to them. But when humans pollute Earth and obscure the stars, the duo grows upset, shouting “STOP! You are making it impossible for us to do our job.” Earth, who already feels ill, begins to sob and shake. Though a king orders Earth to cease, it’s the actions of Axiom, a girl with a megaphone and an impassioned speech, that ultimately help “make Earth feel better” (one spread shows figures recycling and hanging out laundry), allowing Alya and Atik to be seen once more. Dark-toned art, done in pastels on recycled paper, conveys a pressing sense of doom. Though the murky, theatrical plot offers few clear takeaways, Axiom’s speech, presented as an endnote, provides real-world methods for “Earth Warriors” to make a difference. Ages 5–8. [em](Mar.) [/em]