Our Living Earth
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This issue’s cover illustration by Helen Oxenbury is from Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox (Walker, 978 1 4063 1592 9, £10.99 hbk). Helen Oxenbury writes about her illustration here. Thanks to Walker Books for their help with this January cover.
Our Living Earth
Illustrated by David Giraudon
text by Isabelle Delannoy
Arthus-Bertrand photographs our planet from the air – he’s been doing it for 30 years and has produced some of the most telling images of our way of using our earth that ordinary eyes have ever seen. A new production from him deserves the best of respectful attention. Billed as ‘A Next Generation Guide to People and Preservation’, his pictures show us, with irresistible impact the importance of Water and Oceans, People and Cities, Land, Food and Biodiversity, and Climate. And, sure enough, every picture tells a story in this stunning collection. Add a few stark facts – eg. More than 5 million people die from dirty drinking water each year, and you have a great and objective prospect of the way we live now (and terrific value at £12.95 – over 150 pages rather than the usual 32 for the same price).
In these circumstances, then, we can forgive the intrusion of the moralisng text capsules and the often scarcely skilled or relevant ‘illustrations’ that the publishers have thought it necessary to add. The volume remains hugely impressive, its message as durable as it is urgent. Spare nobody or nothing to experience this book – it’s a knockout! Also of interest to older readers.