Life on Planet Earth: My Story by Charalee Graydon
After having written several books for adults Dr. Graydon has now produced one for children. Life on Planet Earth: My Story does not set out to entertain but educate, yet it ends up doing both. Aimed at children in the lower primary school age group, the simple layout and colourful illustrations enable the children to have fun with the various activities and research the natural world. The promise of receiving a certificate on completion of all the activities is a good motivator.
As well as the attractive design of the book, at only 44 pages and 21cm square, it is easily carried and will fit neatly into any schoolbag. One minor criticism is that on the Activity Seven page about the importance of corals the page is black. Whether the children write in pencil or pen it would be difficult to see their words on that page.
Because ecology and climate change is a major issue today this book will help children to learn about this topic while also gaining ownership of it. Dr. Graydon has said her purpose for this children’s book is ‘to introduce them to concepts about planet earth and to listen to their stories.’1
Her book should achieve this goal by allowing the children’s voices to be heard and their stories told. We can learn much from children and need to listen humbly to what they tell us. Perhaps words from a First Century Teacher are pertinent: ‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.’2
Reviewed by Rev. Steve Campbell
Notes 1. Personal note from author. 2. Matthew 18:3