This Pretty Planet (Tom Chapin & John Forster)

Hello, friends! Our book today is This Pretty Planet, written by Tom Chapin and John Forster and illustrated by Lee White, a gorgeous picture book treatment of Chapin & Forster’s 1988 song of the same name.

A white rabbit wakes two children from their sleep, and the trio sails off into the night sky on their balloon-powered bed/airship. They adventure through constellation-filled skies, windswept beaches, flowering meadows, even outer space, experiencing the wonder and magic of a dreamy earth filled with more cheerful animal pals. When the trio travel briefly through history, they are struck by a scene of pollution and waste, and take a moment to care for the earth by cleaning up and planting new life. At last, the children return to their bedroom to be tucked in by their bunny friend, surrounded by reminders of their adventure.

Beautiful. I was not familiar with the original song, but it transitions to picture book form extremely well, with simple and soothing lyrics encouraging an appreciation for planet Earth, for each other, and for ourselves. As lovely as the lyrics are, they are given exquisite impact by White’s gorgeous, ethereal illustrations that combine fantasy and reality flawlessly; a spread that simply reads “You’re a holy place,” as the trio of travelers contemplate a giant glowing owl surrounded by a mountain lake and waterfalls, for instance, is absolutely breathtaking. Equally fantastic is the final spread, in which observant readers can see what items in the children’s room inspired their dreams (or vice versa, depending on your interpretation). It’s a quick read, but offers plenty of opportunity for examination of the rich illustrations, and JJ loved it. This is an affirming and earth-loving treat for little bookworms, and we recommend it; Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

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