Little Land

by Diana Sudyka (Author)

Little Land
Reading Level: K − 1st Grade
Inspire a love of nature in young readers with this gorgeous, simple guide—and learn how, through millennia of transformations, life and land have always found a way to begin anew, for nature-loving fans of Kate Messner's Over and Under series. 

Do you know a little bit of land? It could be smaller than you expect. But its importance is bigger than you know. From the prehistoric past to the dramatic environmental change of right here and now, the land has countless stories to tell. You, too, are a part of the land. Listen, and you will understand what it needs to stay in balance.

A breathtaking exploration of the connections between life and land central to the past, present, and future of our planet, Little Land invites young readers to think about ways in which they engage with the environment in their own lives. 
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Publishers Weekly

Naturalistic cartoon depictions of Earth's beginnings form the backdrop to Sudyka's urgent call for conservation in this captivating story about planetary renewal and reciprocity. Starting in the distant past, the opening showcases a "little bit of land" that changes as the years progress, evolving from an aquatic landscape into a home for early humans. Natural forces such as fire occasionally alter the environment, but it's humankind's footprint, illustrations assert, that's responsible for "tip, tip, tipping" the planet's climate out of balance. Fluid gouache in blues and greens render prehistoric settings before giving way to sooty gray scenes of disruptive human development, until youthful stewards welcome back the sunny biodiversity that was initially present. Closing second-person lines encourage readers to reflect on the importance of caring for the planet. Human figures are portrayed with varying skin tones. Ages 4-8. (Apr.)

Copyright 2023 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

School Library Journal

Gr 1-3--Taking care of our planet is a big concern for kids growing up today, who are often seeing the drastic effects of climate change in their own backyards. This title provides a gentle introduction to how the environment has naturally changed over eons, from dinosaurs to the ice age, with life ultimately finding a balance despite it all. The biggest environmental changes, however, have come with the arrival of humans, who covered the land fairly thoughtlessly until the whole thing tipped out of balance (i.e., climate change). But anyone can make a difference by taking care of the land once more, argues Sudyka. The gouache watercolor illustrations are lovely, with two passages standing out in particular: the images of a small house being overtaken by a city are evocative of Virginia Lee Burton's The Little House, and the spread of the environment literally upside down effectively illustrates the drastic nature of the situation. The final pages include an author's note, definitions, and a few resources for further reading. VERDICT An excellent, effective introduction to why saving the Earth is important.--Kadie Seitz

Copyright 2023 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

"Enthralling artwork.... Enlightening and encouraging."—Kirkus Reviews
Diana Sudyka

Diana Sudyka lives and works in Evanston, Illinois, with her family. She loves to go on woodland hikes and is learning to be a better steward of the land. Her illustrations have been featured in numerous books, including Dear Treefrog by Joyce Sidman, Would You Come Too? by Liz Garton Scanlon, and The New York Times bestselling Mysterious Benedict Society series by Trenton Lee Stewart.

Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date
April 11, 2023
BISAC categories
JUV002060 - Juvenile Fiction | Animals | Dinosaurs & Prehistoric Creatures
JUV029010 - Juvenile Fiction | Nature & the Natural World | Environment
JUV016090 - Juvenile Fiction | Historical | Prehistory
JUV063000 - Juvenile Fiction | Recycling & Green Living
Library of Congress categories
Picture books

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