ForeWord Reviews

great books independent voices

Touch the Earth

Foreword Review — May / June 1999

Remember standing out in a warm spring rain, catching raindrops on your tongue? The opening of Baskwill and Fiore’s gentle ode to the Earth will reawaken that memory. As she did in her ABA Pick of the Lists title, Somewhere, Baskwill uses a nature theme.

The text metaphorically describes the many ways in which the Earth touches each of us: the tickling of a dandelion seed, gentle breezes combing one’s hair, inviting fields of daisies, a cricket’s lullaby or the wind calling one’s name. Reminding readers of the reciprocal nature of our relationship with the Earth, Baskwill then details ways in which everyone can touch the Earth in return: with kindness by feeding the birds, with thoughtfulness by adopting an endangered animal, with happiness by singing with family. A final page lists resources for readers who would like to develop a project to help the Earth.

Fiore’s soft watercolors complement the text and draws readers into the scenes of happy children flying kites, contented families camping under a full moon and cooperative neighbors buying lemonade to support a fund-raising effort to adopt an endangered animal. The artist’s palette ranges from the gray haze of a rainy day, to the cool blues of the night sky, to the bright colors of a sunset over the ocean. Eight of the illustrations are full double page spreads of children and adults interacting harmoniously with the Earth.

Read Touch the Earth for an Earth Day story time or to introduce a nature unit. The text is simple enough for younger listeners while the appended sources provide ideas for primary or intermediate students interested in touching the earth more directly.

Janis Ansell