Book Reviews

So many books. So little time.

The Boy Who Spoke To The Earth by Chris Burkard

Happiness is not a destination, it is a way of seeing. A little boy sets out to seek happiness. He speaks to the earth, and the earth answers.

"Where can I find happiness?" he asks.

"Are you willing to make the journey?" the earth responds.

Thus begins a journey in the grand tradition. The earth sends the little boy to all the most glorious places. Pay close attention to the pictures dear reader. The wonderful opening double-spread. And then, as the boy gets on his way, it splits. The left page shows the boy's reaction, the right page gives the earth's advice. Always the boy on the right-hand page, just walking on by—sea, cliffs, forest, desert, mountains, the top of the world. Always, the boy walking past, walking, walking. Until the earth falls silent.

"So the boy walked and he walked and he walked until he left it all behind." One circle is complete. The boy has walked through all the glories of the earth, but has not found happiness.

One more time he asks, "Earth are you listening?"

The earth speaks again. "Go back along the trail. But this time, stand still for just a moment."

Dear reader, take a moment to note the alliteration. The little boy 'waded and wandered', 'stepped and strode', 'hiked and hauled', 'trekked and trudged', and 'climbed and crawled'.

Look at the illustrations again. The same places, now depicted in glorious double-page spreads. Because now the little boy is truly looking, and the illustrator needs the double-page to depict the vastness of all that he is taking in.

Ah! the shorebirds and the starfish, and the dolphins leaping out of the water. Each illustration depicts the minute details of that place. The sunlight streaming through the trees. The bird riding the thermals.

"And for the first time the boy truly saw…."

And in this seeing he finds the happiness he was seeking.

"Happiness was all around him." A most satisfying ending.

A book that I’d recommend to children and adults alike.

Title: The Boy Who Spoke To The Earth

Author: Chris Burkard

Illustrator: David McClellan

Publisher: Dreamling Books

Hardback: 46 pages

ISBN: 978-0-9800123-3-0