Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

This Is Our Earth

This Is Our Earth

Laura Lee Benson
Illustrator:  John Corrozza 
Nonfiction Picture Book
For ages 4 to 6
Charlesbridge, 1994   ISBN: 978-0881068382

Very few of us have the opportunity to go out into space, to view our planet from a distance and to therefore see how beautiful, unique, and precious it is. As a result we tend to take it for granted, this home of ours, and forget that we need to “cherish and love” Earth. We have to take care of it, husbanding and protecting its resources.

In this beautifully illustrated book, flowing rhyming verses carry us from place to place, showing us the remarkable ecosystems and environments that make our planet beautiful. We go from tall mountains to valleys; from woods full of enormous trees to oceans full of beautiful fish, whales, and dolphins. There are the deserts “Where the tall cactus grow,” and where a variety of animals live; and the ice-covered “Arctic north” where there is snow and glaciers.

Next we see a lush, colorful rain forest, a place where “the greatest variety of plants and animals on Earth” can be found. This is followed by a place where trees are few and far between: a prairie. Here elk and prairie dogs live in the “sea of grass.”

The author goes on to tell us about lakes, farms, and city parks. We see a beach and the Grand Canyon, a place that is truly “one of a kind.”

In addition to the rhyming lines and the artwork, sections of prose on every spread offers readers further information about the places shown in the artwork. By the time we come to the last page, which shows a picture of Earth from space, we understand that we really are caretakers who need to “do our share to lend a hand / To preserve all we have in this wonderful land.”