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ChildrensPictureBook.info Review

The Earth Machine
By Kevin Tong
Publisher Red Cygnet Press

A little boy, Alex, takes a dream time ride with his father in an elevator that can go past the sky. Alex discovers there are machines that keep the Sun, the Moon, the Earth, and the stars moving. Returning to Earth, father and son then follow stairs down into the earth where Alex sees the system of tubs and pipes that water the trees. Venturing farther down, they enter a small room, which houses the Earth Machine. Alex will one-day use the machine to keep the whole system of machines running just as his father has always done. As with all dreams, Alex wakes to find reality different, not as amazing as his dream, but still right.

The illustrations create a mood that is slightly oppressive using dark browns, greens, and oranges and the small proportion of Alex to his surroundings. You feel underground. Although the text tells us that Alex is amazed by what he sees, his face shows anxiety more than amazement. Dreams can be like that. Although not the lightest of picture books, it will start children thinking about how the earth really works. You’ll also find a surprise on the screen of the Earth Machine if you hold the book upside down to a mirror.


The Earth Machine

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