Today I review a beautiful and timely new picture book debut about Earth Hour, an annual event that highlights the importance of energy conservation.

Title: EARTH HOUR: A Lights-Out Event for Our Planet

Written by: Nanette Heffernan

Illustrated by: Bao Luu

Charlesbridge, January 2020

For ages: 3-7

Themes/topics: Earth Hour, energy conservation, sustainability

First spread:

All over the world, millions of people use energy, every day, every night.

Summary (from the publisher):

Click flashlights, light lanterns, and get ready to turn electric lights out to celebrate Earth Hour! Wherever you come from, you can help our planet.

Kids around the world use electric energy to do all kinds of things—adults do, too! From cleaning the clothes we play in, to lighting up our dinner tables, to keeping us warm and toasty when the weather is cold, electricity is a huge part of our lives. Unfortunately, it can also have a big impact on our planet.

Earth Hour—a worldwide movement in support of energy conservation and sustainability—takes place each March and is sponsored by the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF). During Earth Hour, individuals, communities, and businesses in more than 7,000 cities turn off nonessential electric lights for one hour. Across each continent—from the Eiffel Tower to the Great Wall of China to the Statue of Liberty—one small act reminds all of us of our enormous impact on planet Earth.

Why I highly recommend this book:

With vivid and lyrical writing and gorgeous illustrations, EARTH HOUR is both a celebration of what energy provides to humans and a call to action. The book takes us on an around-the-world journey, visiting both everyday scenes and iconic monuments, to witness energy at work – providing heat and light. Bao Luu’s color palette, featuring a range of exquisite blues, strikingly illustrates the beauty of illumination. And Nanette Heffernan’s text gently reminds us that “Every light counts, every day, every night, whether tiny or giant, bright or dim.”

I think kids will enjoy the glimpse of families around the world participating in Earth Hour and will love imagining, as I do, people coming together with the same purpose for one hour this March. And kids will likely be inspired to carry the message of conservation forward, helping their families and communities adopt more sustainable practices. What can seem like a small act – one hour of lights out – can have a huge and growing impact through consciousness raising. Check out EARTH HOUR and mark your calendars for Earth Hour 2020 – Saturday, March 28!

For educators:  

Visit the Charlesbridge site to download both an extensive Educator’s Guide and an Activity Kit:

Discover the many ways you can participate in Earth Hour here:

(For a colossal collection of picture book reviews, please visit this page on Susanna’s site:

6 thoughts on “Perfect Picture Book Friday: EARTH HOUR: A Lights-Out

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