Lisa M. Hendey had two inspirations for writing I Am Earth's Keeper: St. Francis of Assisi's "Canticle of Brother Sun and Sister Moon" and a photo that her friend David took while kayaking on a pond before dawn, when the sky was perfectly mirrored in the water. This reorienting view created a miracle of "glory above me and glory below," as the boy in her story puts it.
As the boy kayaks with an older companion in the early morning light, his awe at seeing the sky in the water below him takes the form of questions:
Miss Pond's upside down.
Is Sir Sky here or there?
Can I fly through the Clouds,
chasing Bass, racing Bear?
His wonder fans out into awe and a sense of total belonging, as he immerses himself in the sounds and sights of Mud, Lake, Sun, Frogs, Clouds, Beaver, Hawk, Carp, Wind, and more — each capitalized, in the style of the Canticle, to acknowledge them as living beings. The boy's sense of belonging leads to a desire to "take each giant leap" into the gifts of the Earth and to actively love and care for Her.
Giuliano Ferri's gentle watercolors — whether of Water Lily matching dawn's gold or of Fox curled up with her sleeping kits — powerfully evoke reverence. He is a fine artist as well as an illustrator, with works displayed in museums worldwide.
By empowering children ages three to eight to be caregivers of the earth, this book offers a great service.