- Grade Level: 1 - 2
- Hardcover: 32 pages
- Publisher: Greenwich Pr Ltd (September 1, 1998)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0867130547
- ISBN-13: 978-0867130546
- Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 0.8 x 11.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,899,532 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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If the Earth...Were a Few Feet in Diameter Hardcover – September 1, 1998
From Publishers Weekly
Miller imagines the earth in miniatureAas a strange ball that hovers "above a field somewhere," inspiring awe from people of all different walks of life. Unfortunately, the hyperrealistic, almost scientific description is at odds with the religious response described in the text: "People would marvel at the bumps on it and the holes in it. They would marvel at the very thin layer of gas surrounding it and the water suspended in the gas." Sidebar facts appearing on alternating pages give readers more concrete reasons to gawk: the tallest plant, for example, is 300 million times the size of the smallest. But readers will likely be put off by the time they reach the over-the-top conclusion: "The ball would be the greatest wonder known, and people would come to pray to it, to be healed, to gain knowledge... " McLean's spreads of animals and sea creatures are breathtaking, and his rendering of the floating earth-ball bulging with oversized volcanoes resembles the Little Prince's planet. In this uneasy marriage of the scientific and the spiritual, the earth comes off as comical instead of grand, funky instead of sacred. Ages 4-8.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
Grade 2-4-In 1975, Miller wrote a concrete poem shaped like Earth's globe. In it, he invited readers to view our planet from a startling perspective-as a few feet in diameter, hanging just above the surface of a grassy field. The sphere is complete with oceans, mountains, plains, deserts, and weather systems; decorated with miniature forests, jungles, and grasslands; and inhabited by the marvelous biodiversity that makes our planet unique in our solar system. People would come, he tells us, to view it with awe and delight, reveling in its fragile beauty and its infinite variety, cherishing and protecting it. It's a charming conceit that may be marred for some by an assertion that "...people would declare it as sacred...would come to pray to it, to be healed..." a rather New Age play on the Earth Goddess theme. McLean's colorful, dramatic, somewhat stylized paintings almost shadow Miller's slim text, and are filled with awe-struck humans, the majority Caucasian in origin. Also included are four sidebars on topics as diverse as the number of organisms in a tenth of an ounce of soil to a severely truncated creation myth from China. A striking book, but one with limited child appeal.
Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.