If You Come to Earth – Sophie Blackall

Although I generally tend to write overviews of picture books such as my most recent Peeking At Picture Books (see here) I read If You Come to Earth and knew it deserved an entire blog celebrating the gorgeous combination of text and illustration that instantly gives the reader so much to consider, appreciate, and enjoy. This is yet another book to share and cherish, deserving of school library shelf space, teachers to utilise as either a shared story with younger audiences or a focus point for debate, creative writing, and/or art work lessons with older children, and the perfect bedtime read. Reading this book at bedtime would encourage boundaryless dreams that children will adore, and want to share the next morning.

The entire text within this book is designed as a letter a child is writing, to anything looking to come visit our planet. It is brim full of details that as Earth’s inhabitants we frequently overlook and take for granted all the time – sometimes lacking the explanation for why it is the way it is to begin with. This book not only manages to include absolutely everything you could think of about or planet, but gives readers an understanding for it too, which is great if they’ve yet to learn about or experience such things for themselves.

Everything that lives on our planet is mentioned in this beautifully illustrated book, including those that can be found in the oceans, wander the worlds many habitats that they dwell in, or fly within the skies above us. That in itself would be enough information to fill an entire set of children’s encyclopedias yet this book holds more details besides, such as the places we live, and the families we dwell with amongst those locations we have come to know as home.

The book encourages a strong feeling of inclusivity as it celebrates all the things we have in common by loving our planet, and also a sense of needing to appreciate that which we should give more care and consideration. This is depicted through the pureness of the letter written by Quinn, the child in the book who writes of the beauty and brilliance of the world we share, written with an inhabitant from an entirely different planet in mind with a detectable note of kindness in every sentence written and giving a sense of each and every detail mentioned being something that they would be willing to share with the ‘visitor’.

I fell in love with this book after my first time reading it, and delighted over and over again sharing it with my children at home. My eleven year old was particularly in awe of just how much attention to detail has gone into not only the text but also the illustrations, and sharing this together created opportunities for questions, debating, and opinion forming. I look forward to sharing this book further with younger audiences now schools have returned, and am excited to spark the imaginations of children along the way.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s