Heal the Earth

Illustrated by Smiljana Coh

“On our beautiful planet, some places need healing. Would you like to go on a healing adventure?”

Heal the Earth is the second book in a series by Julian Lennon with Bart Davis featuring the White Feather Flyer. Four little children use the magical transforming Flyer vehicle to travel the Earth and help heal people and habitats. They visit a remote village, a coral reef, a city, and a rainforest. In each location, the children learn about an environmental problem in simple terms and participate in a solution.

Heal the Earth introduces young readers to the interconnectedness of creatures and planet while touching on the issues of healthcare access, coral bleaching, urban environments, and deforestation. By connecting human healing, coral healing, urban space healing, and forest healing, the story communicates how all these forms of wellbeing are interrelated (see web of life). Each destination shows groups of people working together to make a difference (see collective action). “If we can all work together we can make our planet better!” The activist focus is amplified by Smiljana Coh’s vibrant illustrations and prompts for physical interaction like “Press the DIVE button and tilt the book down to go under the sea.” This combination makes it a highly engaging text for young readers.

First, the children visit a rural village where human residents have trouble accessing medical care. The Flyer transforms into a mobile hospital and delivers medicine and doctors to the people. The second destination is the ocean where the children learn about coral bleaching due to global warming and how restoring the “zooks” population can help keep reefs healthy. Next, the children land in an urban environment. They help tend an urban garden and learn how green spaces in cities provide fresh food and keep the air clean. Finally, the Flyer touches down near a rainforest and transforms into a speedboat. The children help with a reforestation project that restores wildlife habitats and biodiversity in the forest. By including examples of both humans and animals being affected by their natural surroundings, this book offers an opportunity to highlight how we are all interconnected. People have the power to impact animals, plants, soil, water, and each other for better.

The book closes with a poem called “Heal the Earth,” which reiterates the theme of the story in rhyming verse. “Share my dream, come and see / Earth so perfect, warm, and green. / Where all the children dance and sing / We’re all part of everything.”  This is followed by a personal message from Julian Lennon, introducing the White Feather Foundation and its goals of addressing environmental and humanitarian challenges in today’s world.

©2023 ClimateLit (Nicki May)

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Publisher: Sky Pony Press, 2018

Pages: 40

ISBN: 978-1510728530

Audience: Little People (4-7), Sprouts (0-3)

Format: Picturebooks

Topics: Biodiversity, Collective Action, Coral Bleaching, Coral Reefs, Deforestation, Earth Stewardship, Ecological Restoration, Food, Global Warming, Green Spaces, Habitats, Interconnectedness, Medicine, Oceans, Rainforests, Reforestation, Solutions, Urban Environments, Urban Garden, Web of Life, Youth Climate Activism

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