This Is the Planet Where I Live is the perfect way to jump-start a young environmentalist’s education. Its eye-catching illustrations will capture the reader’s attention, and its lively text will hold it. This is the sort of book that grows alongside children, gaining broader, deeper meanings as their comprehension develops.
Author K.L. Going writes in rhythmic, occasionally rhyming cumulative verse that focuses on connections. “Here are the people / who share the planet / where I live,” she begins. On the next spread, she continues, “These are the homes / that shelter the people / who share the planet / where I live.” Page by page, Going explores the links between humans, animals, insects, birds, trees, clouds and oceans, her plainspoken verses becoming more complex with each new addition. Finally, she concludes quite simply, “Animals, fields, / shelter for friends, / every creature alive / on each other depends— / all on the planet / where we live.”
Debra Frasier’s dazzling photo-collage art transforms Going’s text into a visual feast for the imagination. Her illustrations will remind many readers of her work in On the Day You Were Born, her beloved 1991 picture book that also makes wonderful use of planetary imagery and themes of interconnectedness. Here, repeated images of Earth and a sunflower-bright sun provide a grounding motif that echoes Going’s cumulative lines, helping young readers realize how all the things mentioned in Going’s text—included readers themselves—rely on one another.
Along the way, Frasier portrays fascinating variety within each category, such as fields of food that include tomatoes, broccoli, strawberries and onions, or birds such as goldfinches, geese, eagles and seagulls. Bright colors leap off the page, adding energy to every spread. Frequent use of swirls and spirals, which can be seen in clouds, landscapes and, notably, a large curlicue of birds looping in the air, reinforces the central notions of interdependence and the circle of life.
This Is the Planet Where I Live gloriously captures the teeming natural treasures of our beautiful, delicate world.