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Sunday, May 6, 2018

Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth, written and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers. Harper, 2017. $22.99 ages 3 and up

"Firstly, let's talk about
the land.
It's what we are standing
on right now.
We know lots about the
Then, there is the sea,
which is full of wonderful
We know a bit about the
sea, but we'll talk ... "

Having recently celebrated Earth Day, I was reminded of Oliver Jeffers' book, written to celebrate his first child's birth in July 2015, and his first two months living in this place we all call home.

"To my son Harland

This book was written in
the first two months of
your life as I tried to make
sense of it all for you.

These are the things
I think you need to know."

Every image, created digitally, focuses on Earth: its place in the galaxy, its flora and fauna, its land and water, its days and nights, the passage of time spent here, and the work that is still ahead to make it the best home it can be. Suggestions are made for living well, caring about the Earth and those who share it.

"It looks big, Earth.
But there are lots of us on here

(7,327, 450, 667, and counting)
so be kind.

There is enough for everyone."

The audience is a baby. The message is clear: I will be here for you. If I can't be, there will be someone else to answer your questions. You are never alone.

Three important quotations are appended - all important and all meaningful. The final one is my favorite:

"There are only three words you need to live by, son:
respect, consideration and tolerance."
                                                   -Oliver's Dad. All-round good human

A much needed reminder at this time on our planet, don't you think?

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