This is the Planet Where I Live

This is the Planet Where I Live by K.L. GoingThis is the Planet Where I Live
Illustrated by Debra Frasier
Beach Lane Books/Simon & Schuster, March 2023
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This picture book celebrates and honors the interconnectedness of everything here on planet Earth.

The planet where we live is full of people, animals, insects, birds, trees, clouds, rain, oceans—and everything is interconnected. With a cumulative text and rich, highly-detailed collages, this book is a joyous ode to our wondrous planet.

The illustrator, Debra Frasier, has a mailing list called Scissors, Paper, Glue, and there are coloring pages and teachers resources available for those who sign up. You can do that here.

"So many things on our planet are connected.

Using a cumulative nursery rhyme format similar to “The House That Jack Built,” the text begins with “This is the planet where I live” and slowly builds to give a simple but detailed account of ecosystems and the food web. While the rhyming text is appropriate for younger readers, skillful storytellers may want to use this book with older children as well to help start discussions of conservation, science, and even climate change. The verses themselves are magnificent, culminating in a story that’s equally pleasing to say aloud as it is to consider: “These are the creatures / who live and die / deep in the oceans / on which we rely / to produce the clouds / that coast and cry / to water the trees / that stretch up high / giving nests to the birds / who soar in the sky / who feed on the insects / who fly nearby. // Animals, fields, / shelter for friends, / every creature alive / on each other depends— / all on the planet / where we live.” Though the text is a delight, the collage illustrations are the real stars of the show, a mix of Matisse-inspired art and photography.

A stunning tribute that will make future conservationists out of all who read it"—Kirkus, starred review

"This Is the Planet Where I Live is the perfect way to jump-start a young environmentalist’s education. Its eye-catching illustrations will capture the reader’s attention, and its lively text will hold it. This is the sort of book that grows alongside children, gaining broader, deeper meanings as their comprehension develops.

Author K.L. Going writes in rhythmic, occasionally rhyming cumulative verse that focuses on connections. “Here are the people / who share the planet / where I live,” she begins. On the next spread, she continues, “These are the homes / that shelter the people / who share the planet / where I live.” Page by page, Going explores the links between humans, animals, insects, birds, trees, clouds and oceans, her plainspoken verses becoming more complex with each new addition. Finally, she concludes quite simply, “Animals, fields, / shelter for friends, / every creature alive / on each other depends— / all on the planet / where we live.”

Debra Frasier’s dazzling photo-collage art transforms Going’s text into a visual feast for the imagination. Her illustrations will remind many readers of her work in On the Day You Were Born, her beloved 1991 picture book that also makes wonderful use of planetary imagery and themes of interconnectedness. Here, repeated images of Earth and a sunflower-bright sun provide a grounding motif that echoes Going’s cumulative lines, helping young readers realize how all the things mentioned in Going’s text—included readers themselves—rely on one another.

Along the way, Frasier portrays fascinating variety within each category, such as fields of food that include tomatoes, broccoli, strawberries and onions, or birds such as goldfinches, geese, eagles and seagulls. Bright colors leap off the page, adding energy to every spread. Frequent use of swirls and spirals, which can be seen in clouds, landscapes and, notably, a large curlicue of birds looping in the air, reinforces the central notions of interdependence and the circle of life.

This Is the Planet Where I Live gloriously captures the teeming natural treasures of our beautiful, delicate world."—Bookpage