Review of Green: The Story of Plant Life on Our Planet

Green: The Story of Plant Life on Our Planet
by Nicola Davies; illus. by Emily Sutton
Primary    Candlewick    40 pp.
3/24    9781536231410    $18.99

Davies showcases the important role that plants play on Earth as consumers of carbon, producers of oxygen, and mitigators of the effects of human-induced global warming. The meaning of “green” is creatively expanded from the color we associate with plants to encompass the process of photosynthesis and the components of plant cells in which it takes place. “Their green isn’t just a color…this green catches the energy in sunlight.” Sutton’s lush illustrations, naturally featuring many shades of green, fill the pages with tendrils, roots, and leaves at macro and micro scales and portray ecosystems on land and water throughout Earth’s history as teeming with plants and animals. As Davies explains the history of plant life and its transformation into today’s fossil fuels, the story shifts into how human exploitation of ancient life has meant the release of too much carbon dioxide into our atmosphere. Luckily, today’s green plants in the sea and across various environments fight back against climate change. We must “remember that GREEN is the most important color in the world.”

From the January/February 2024 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Danielle J. Ford
Danielle J. Ford
Danielle J. Ford is a Horn Book reviewer and an associate professor of Science Education at the University of Delaware.

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