Reviewed by Wendy Lipke
This hardcovered, landscape 29x23cm book is the latest in a series of ABC books for young children, aged 3 years and up which promote ways we can all help enjoy a healthy and sustainable way of living. Previous books in this series have been about Food, Seasons, Transport, Places to Go, Rockets, Planets and Outer Space. This latest book is about ways we can protect our planet.
This publication has been produced by Jaclyn Crupi, a bookseller in Melbourne who is also a freelance book editor, project manager and proof-reader. She has written several books ranging from board books for babies to series fiction for middle graders to craft kits for tweens and teens.
The text in this book is presented within the illustrations which decorate each page. The text is found in paragraph segments in areas where it does not impede the picture but still stands out so is easy to read. Each paragraph is made up of less than ten sentences and has its own title. On the first double page spread these are Love the Planet, Taking Care and Nature is All Around. The following pages address gardens for humans and other creatures, seeds, bees and birds, worms and topics about avoiding food waste, rubbish, discovering nature and finishing with how individuals can have a say in Loving the Planet. Each double page also has a suggested project which can be undertaken to make a difference and reinforce the message on that page.
The illustrations are beautifully produced by Cheryl Orsini who has been illustrating children’s books, magazines and peg dolls for some time. She has worked on over twenty picture books. Her illustrations are child-centred and joyful, full of smiling people who appear to be thoroughly enjoying what they are doing, supporting the positive message being told. The white or light-coloured background helps the illustrations pop and allows non-readers to understand the message being promoted.
As the back cover states Our planet is precious. It’s where we live, learn, work and play.
This well-presented book should inspire all young people to love the planet, as it clearly illustrates how they can play their part in making it a better place to people and animals. It is wonderful to see books like this being produced and to know that young people today are so passionate about trying to save the planet before it is too late.
The ABC Kids Guide to Loving the Planet
Jaclyn Crupi and Cheryl Orsini
$19.99; 32 pp