Our Planet by Jimi Lee
In the beginning, we had plants and trees. And then the building began, and the trees disappeared. Bigger machines and oversized vehicles made houses, skyscrapers, towers, and more. The pollution spread, the trash multiplied, until the earth grew too warm, causing the icecaps to melt. Almost all was lost. But the children had hope, and seeds, and better ideas … about sustainability and regeneration and efficiency. And so they began again to build a better world …
Lee, a graphic designer by training, places a large circular die-cut right in the middle of the book. That our planet is invisibly implied is a clever embodiment of both threat and potential. Abuse the earth, and it will disappear; support the earth, and our lives can be that much better. The cut-out ends with a penultimate, intact full page on which renowned anthropologist Jane Goodall adds the book’s only words – both warning and entreaty – that fill the circle: “Children will inherit this planet. Will they care for it better than we have? Repair the damage before it is too late …”
Lee’s whimsical, technicolor prognosis bodes well … her cover and final page are matching images of healthy balance, a planet where whales frolic, birds soar, windmills generate, trees grow green, and rainbows still rise from Farmer Joe’s apple orchards. This is home: preserve it, nurture it, protect it, we must.
Published: 2013, 2014 (United States)