cover image Dear Earth

Dear Earth

Isabel Otter, illus. by Clara Anganuzzi. Tiger Tales, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-66430-014-9

Building from the titular address, a child’s epistolary appreciations form the basis of this landscape-focused ode. Inspired by stories of global adventure from her grandfather, who “had been an explorer once,” young Tessa decides to write a letter to Earth. Sharing visions of ecological grandeur and hopes for her own travel-filled future, she expresses interest in visiting arctic ice floes, desert dunes, and mangrove forests, and encountering the many creatures that call these habitats home. Washed in pale colors, Anganuzzi’s soft-edged paintings, which alternate between horizontal and vertical orientation, offer attendant images of biodiverse landscapes. In one spread, the child, easily identifiable in a red shirt, hangs from a vine alongside various species: “Up in your rain/ forest canopy,/ I would join/ in with the hullabaloo of the/ birds and/ the monkeys.” Otter’s direct text impresses a straightforward message of environmentalism; closing with an acknowledgment of the planet’s fragility, the protagonist offers an earnest wish for healing. Characters are portrayed with brown skin. Information about climate change concludes. Ages 3–7. (Feb.)