Friday, April 3, 2020

ReaditDaddy's Third Book of the Week - Week Ending 3rd April 2020: "Planet SOS: 22 Modern Monsters Threatening our Environment and what you can do to defeat them!" by Marie G. Rhode (What On Earth Publishing)

There's a clear and present danger in children's publishing, that emerging trends flood the market to such an extent that kids immediately switch off.

Sometimes it's a trend that is well meaning, nay planet-saving, and vitally important for children to engage with and take up the cause of - and it's nice to see What On Earth Publishing doing something amazing and different with a subject that has been (well meaningly) flogged to death over the last couple of years. We've come to expect no less from this plucky indie, they have a knack for this kind of stuff and they also have a knack for taking up residence in our "Book of the Week" slot too.

So "Planet SOS" by Marie G. Rhode may have caused a moment or two of eye-rolling with Little Miss when she saw it, until we started to look inside and became completely wrapped up in the way the book mixes 22 real-world threats to our amazing planet in a pseudo-mythological way that instantly makes it appealing to a wide audience age.

Marie's genius idea pays off beautifully within the first few pages of the book, as she reimagines planet-threatening ecological nasties as real and actual monsters, twisting and wrapping their nefarious coils around our world.

Let's take a look at a sample page...

Twisting, turning, choking - the all-encompassing road snake and its mythical counterpart from viking legend
A while ago I remember talking to a (slightly bemused) commissioning editor about fictional non-fiction, devising ways to produce a non-fiction book that uses storytelling and fictional elements to get its point across and this is one of the best examples of the sort of thing I meant.

This is such an original and fascinating approach, and the whole thing is really beautifully presented. If you find that your own kids, or your own classes at school are groaning every time they hear or see anything about climate change or ecological disaster, this book might just change their minds and bring them back around in a fantastic way.

Sum this book up in a sentence: Mixing real-world climate threats with myth and legend is an utterly genius idea and this book is one of the most impressive titles on the subject we've seen to date on the blog.

"Planet SOS" by Mafie G. Rhode is out now, published by What On Earth Books. 

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