Lewis, one of the reigning sovereigns of silly verse, turns from nonsense to good sense in this consciousness-raiser. Urging his readers to “Make the Earth your companion./Walk lightly on it,/as other creatures do,” he embarks on a free-verse tour of terrestrial features and habitats, from a limpid lake to a bursting volcano, a teeming wetland to a busy classroom. His language is simple but high toned: “Let the Sea be horizon to hope,/let seashore be the landfall/you dream on.” These meditations and observations are linked to create a sense of continuity, and printed over richly colored, luxuriously detailed landscapes filled with monumental landforms and expertly rendered wildlife. Children (and some adults too) will be moved by the lyrical sweep of these poems and pictures to a greater appreciation for nature’s grand beauty. Consider this title, the first of a trio celebrating the community of living things, as a companion or alternative to such global-awareness enhancers as Barbara Brenner’s The Earth Is Painted Green (Scholastic, 1994) or Michael Foreman’s One World.
— School Library Journal (April 2001) – John Peters
Turn off the television, log off the computer, and take a moment to appreciate the wonderful world around you – one that is brought to life Earth & You, the first in a series of books exploring our connection to the world around us. Listen carefully, and you can feel the gentle, constant rhythm of life. From the calm surface of a rural lake to the towering cliffs of a tall mountain, from the sweet songs of woodland birds to the swaying landscape of the grassland prairies, the Earth is truly a magical place. The beautiful illustrations and poems invite you to explore the larger community of life and celebrate the natural wonder of the world, teaching us invaluable lessons along the way, such as:
The Earth is in you, the Earth is in me,
The Earth is in every flower and tree,
On the silent land, in the raging sea,
In animals and humanity.
— Children’s Digest (June 2001)
Connections are at the heart of Earth and You: A Closer View. J. Patrick Lewis’ vivid imagery and gentle cadences bond the reader to each element of our world and underscore the unity in nature by moving rhythmically from Earth to sky, to sea, to land, and, ultimately, returning to our roles – not just as observers, but as participants in the communities of towns and schools. Christopher Canyon’s art echoes this flow of energy with vibrantly colored paintings that capture the delicacy of sea foam and the power of the wind under an eagle’s wings. The overall sense of the immediacy of the natural world achieved by this synergy of word and art will open young readers readers’ hearts to the lessons the Earth whispers.
— Judy O’Malley – Editor of Book Links, American Library Association