The Earth and I


This story celebrates friendship that one child has with the Earth. They play together, listen to each other, and nourish each other. But when the Earth is sad, the child is sad—so he finds a way to make his friend, the Earth, happy.

A child explains how he and the Earth dance and sing together and take turns listening to each other.

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This story celebrates friendship that one child has with the Earth. They play together, listen to each other, and nourish each other. But when the Earth is sad, the child is sad—so he finds a way to make his friend, the Earth, happy.

A child explains how he and the Earth dance and sing together and take turns listening to each other.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This appealing story gets right to the heart of a child’s experience with nature . . . Delightful."—Booklist
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
``The Earth and I are friends,'' begins this sentimental picture book in which a boy inventories the many ways he and the planet benefit and enjoy each other. Examples both obvious ``I help her to grow. She helps me to grow'' accompanies pictures of the boy tilling soil, then eating food and inspired ``I dance for her. She dances for me'' is paired with the boy raking leaves, then the leaves being blown about by a gust of wind give way to the book's ultimate ``green'' message: ``When she's sad, I'm sad'' captions a view of a scrap heap. The simple text is consistent with Asch's repertoire of very young picture books Happy Birthday, Moon; Bear Shadow, but it lacks the humor that have made the others preschool classics. He paints a dreamscape of liquidy watercolors, with blues, purples, greens and reds bleeding together in a wash of rainbows that cover both the boy and the earth: hair, clothes, leaves, clouds are each multicolored. Jaded adults may have to stifle a laugh at the final, feel-good illustration, which features the narrator hugging a tree. Ages 3-7. Sept.
Children's Literature - Judith Gravitz
Frank Asch, who is well known for his Bear books (Bear's Shadow, Happy Birthday Moon, and Sky Fire), has written an appreciation of nature in The Earth and I. This is a gently-paced explanation of the interdependence between man and nature. A simple sentence opens the story; "The Earth and I are friends." With this statement, the author sets the stage for a young boy's exploration of all the things the that earth does for him, and what he can do in return, so that mutual respect and friendship can flourish. The illustrations depict the boy doing something for nature, turning over the soil for example, and on the facing page the boy is rewarded with good food to eat, "I help her to grow. / She helps me to grow." And when the land is abused and pollution makes it sad, the boy cleans up. Very simply put, "When she's sad / I'm sad. / When she's happy. / I'm happy." The illustrations are clear and direct, with rainbow-like uses of color. A sensitive and evocative concept book for young children.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1-A simple story in which a boy describes his interactions with his special ``friend,'' the Earth. (``I tell her what's on my mind. She listens to every word.'') Asch's paintings show the child in close harmony with nature as he rides the back of a tortoise, plants vegetables, sings with the birds, and dances in the wind. Pollution mars their play towards the end (``When she's sad, I'm sad''), but he cleans up the garbage, plants a new flower, and hugs a tree on the final page. Despite the rainbow tones woven into each illustration, the muted pictures are blandly drawn and have little personality. They are in keeping with the universality of the author's message, but make for a rather unexciting picture book. The basic ecological theme is delivered in a straightforward manner; the book could be used to introduce nature units and is well suited to beginning readers. Nancy Carlstrom's Northern Lullaby (Philomel, 1992), Doug Florian's Nature Walk (1989), and Charlotte Zolotow's Say It! (1980, both Greenwillow) address the subject with more charm and imagination, but The Earth and I will reach even younger audiences.-Steven Engelfried, West Lynn Library, OR
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780152063955
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 3/1/2008
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 196,817
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.90 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.11 (d)

Meet the Author

FRANK ASCH has written and illustrated more than sixty books for children, including the popular Good Night, Baby Bear. He lives in Vermont.

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