Everything about If You Come to Earth by Sophie Blackall is absolutely beautiful.

The beauty starts on the cover and continues until the last word in this glorious picture book.

The front cover is sparkly and magical – a child name Quinn looks up into the sky, a letter trailing to the top of the book.

Inside, the book Quinn describes Earth to the visitor from outer space. Quinn talks about the people and creatures that call Earth home – in towns and cities and in houses of all shapes and sizes. We learn about different families and different bodies; that expressions on people’s faces to tell us what we are feeling; and that people have different ways of communicating – sign and Braille. Quinn talks about children and grownups and the work they do and what we all can do for fun.

The child talks about food and how some people have enough and some don’t, and the importance of water and how it starts as rain and ends in the ocean, which looks vast and empty, but it is not.

The book goes on to explain the good and the bad about the world, how we fight, but how we also help each other. There are lots of things Quinn and people in general don’t know, “But right this minute, we are here together on this beautiful planet.”

In addition to the beauty of the message, the illustrations are lovely, showing the diversity that makes our planet so beautiful, both in its people and the natural world.

There is so much to look at that you spot new things each time you read the story. I love every page, but my favourite might be about the animals that “walk or swim or gallop or hop, but they can’t fly.” The illustrations, and the style of the book, reminds me of my childhood favourite book Oh What A Busy Day by Gyo Fujikawa. I can see this book being read to every child who comes into my house, and a book I will continue to give.

If You Come to Earth by Sophie Blackall costs $26.99 and comes out Sept. 15 from Raincoast Books and Chronicle Kids.

A copy of this book was provided by Raincoast Books
for an honest review. The opinions are my own.