If You Come To Earth – Blackall, Sophie

<p>If You Come To Earth</p>

Title

If You Come To Earth

Author

Blackall, Sophie

Illustrator

Blackall, Sophie

Publisher

Chronicle Books

Published Date

2020

Annotation

This picture book opens with a child writing a letter, ‘Dear Visitor from Outer Space, if you come to Earth, here’s what you need to know.’ The author offers a series of microscopic perspectives on the world’s people, animals, places, transport and more. Meanwhile she details our common humanity while celebrating our differences. The large double page spreads are a visual feast celebrating different cultures, modes of travel, types of sea creatures, animals, birds and more. Here is an opening line: ‘The Sea looks empty,’ then with a turn of the page, there is a huge array of sea creatures. ‘Grown-ups do lots of things to make the world work’, and displayed are 40 small portraits of people across the world engaged in various activities, dressed in different clothes and displaying their work and leisure activities. There is an inbuilt social conscience in both words and images, such as the double page with 23 culturally different people sitting around a large table with various foods. The words say, ‘Whatever we are doing, we need to eat when we are hungry. Some of us have more food than others. We all need food and water to survive.’ Another example of this book’s gentle powers of observation show soldiers fighting while the text says, ‘Sometimes we hurt each other’ then ‘It’s better when we help each other’. As you might anticipate in a children’s book, the ending feature a young child writing a message to the potential visitor from outer space, ‘If you come to Earth, you can stay in my room.’ Sophie Blackwell explains the genesis of this book. When visiting a school on top of the Himalayan mountain in Bhutan and other places around the world, she found that stories brought people together in spite of social differences. She found inspiration in thoughts and ideas from children, many of which feature in this book.

Key Concepts

Cross cultural relations, Cultural traditions, Empathy, Family, Friendship, Kindness, Relationships, Respect, Social justice, Social life, Tolerance

Audience

Early childhood, Lower primary, Primary, Upper primary

AC Links/EYLF

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