cover image Earth! My First 4.54 Billion Years

Earth! My First 4.54 Billion Years

Stacy McAnulty, illus. by David Litchfield. Holt, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-250-10808-1

McAnulty (Mr. Fuzzbuster Knows He’s the Favorite) and Litchfield (Miss Muffet, or What Came After) cast planet Earth as an exuberant celestial body with bright brown eyes and a broad smile, who couldn’t be happier to share its life story. There’s family (dwarf planet Pluto “is more like the family dog”), favorite activities (spinning, circling the sun), and the whole process of growing up: “I don’t remember what it was like to be a baby. Who does? But I’ve been told I was a hot mess.” (A photo album shows the planet as an infant with a pacifier; the accompanying text reads, “Explosive. Gassy! Very cranky.”) Litchfield’s mixed-media cartoons work in perfect sync with the irreverent narration to share geological tidbits with panache; on one spread, a ruler represents the timeline of the planet’s existence, labeled to note when air, plants, animals, and humans showed up. Despite brief references to past extinctions and current environmental threats, the mood is largely upbeat, and a closing spread includes more detailed information about Earth and its inhabitants. Terrifically entertaining. Ages 4–8. [em]Author’s agent: Lori Kilkelly, Rodeen Literary Management. Illustrator’s agent: Anne Moore Armstrong, Bright Groups. (Oct.) [/em]