Listen to the Earth: Caring for Our Planet (Hardcover)
a new and original story of climate change and how to respond to it.
This nonfiction picture book offers a new and original story of climate change and how to respond to it. The lyrical narrative, gorgeous illustrations, and information-rich sidebars are built around the central concept of Earth Overshoot Day, the date each year when humanity has used all the resources the planet can regenerate in the entire year. In 2022 that date is July 28th—everything we consume and discard from then to December 31 is borrowed from the future. Listen to the Earth describes and illustrates in child-welcoming terms the global societal changes and actions that will push Earth Overshoot Day toward the end of the year to make our planet sustainable. In this call to action, the difficult path ahead is illuminated by an optimistic faith in kids.
Carme Lemniscates looks to nature for inspiration and seeks to create books that contribute to children's love and respect for this wonderful planet. She is the author, illustrator and designer of several critically acclaimed children’s books including the three-book series Trees (2017), Birds (2019), and Seeds (2020) as well as El jardín mágico, for which she won the 2017 SCBWI Crystal Kite Award. She also illustrated Little Blue House Beside the Sea (Tilbury House, 2020), the School Library Journal starred review for which said, “Lemniscates’ vibrant colors, subtle nods to finger painting, and earthy tones will beguile readers of all ages.” See more at lemniscates.com.
A call to be mindful of our planet’s capacity to absorb environmental damage.Drawing on reports from the Global Footprint Network, Lemniscates bases her appeal on the notion of “Earth Overshoot Day,” “the date when human demand since the beginning of the year exceeds what the Earth can produce and absorb in an entire year”—July 28 in 2022, though how that date gets calculated goes unexplained. Urgently pointing out that “we are borrowing from our precious planet’s future,” she tallies a litany of changes in policy and behavior that, oracularly, “will move the date.” If all of her suggestions, from stopping the use of plastic bags to replacing fossil fuels in industrial processes with “green hydrogen,” are broad, even worldwide, in scope, they are still valid agenda items and could, with some creative thinking, be locally, even personally, scaled. But an even larger list of actions in the backmatter comes off more like pie in the sky as the rewards take an arbitrarily specific turn: “If all the world’s people would dress warmly for cold weather and coolly for hot weather, we could move the date 3 days.” The illustrations, rendered in watercolor, acrylic, and collage, open with smoke-shrouded industrial landscapes before moving to more uplifting scenes of racially diverse figures, mostly children, engaged in environmentally conscious activities. (This book was reviewed digitally.)Overwrought but with plenty of talking points for young eco-activists. (Informational picture book. 7-10)