Friday, June 14, 2024

"Bless The Earth" - Each and Everyday

Are you a concerned citizen of our planet Earth? Many people gather together each year to find ways to protect our Earth. Elementary school children also honor Earth each April on Earth Day. In reality, we should celebrate our beautiful yet fragile Earth daily.  A new children's anthology, Bless The Earth, edited by June Cotner and Nancy Tupper Ling blends poetry with beautiful illustrations in a fabulous new collection of poetry to celebrate and care for our world. The illustrator, Keum Jin Song, also shares beautiful artwork that children and adults will appreciate. Join me as I review this amazing book of praise from the initial two-page spread on Bless The Earth to the last page about the editors.

This amazing book is written for children, who are the future stewards of our planet. It should be a treasured part of classrooms and libraries where children can read the collected praise poems and inspirational quotes and use the book as a mentor text.  As June and Nancy say in their introductory note, "This anthology knits together humanity, the environment, and spirituality in an engaging way." 

With love for our planet, June and Nancy gathered a collection of poems from different poetic voices to focus on themed sections: dreams and prayers for the world, elements of our planet, all creatures, and seasons. The last section of the book focuses on caring for our Earth. It reads as a call to action for young environmentalists. 

The poetry collection starts with a rhymed praise poem to Earth by Nancy Tupper Ling. Nancy paints a beautiful picture of the gifts nature gives to the world.

Many poets contributed to the anthology. I especially thank Matt Forrest Esenwine for sending me news of Bless The Earth. Matt and other poet friends, Michelle Heidenrich Barnes, Charles Ghinga, and Irene Latham, have poems published within the collection. Each poet's voice becomes a poem of wonder and gratitude. See both Matt Forrest Esenwine's and Charles Ghinga's poems below.

As an extra bonus, one child's voice is featured among the adult poets in the collection. I am impressed by Jillian Pappan, age 10, from the Omaha Tribe of Nebraska. Her reflective and imaginative poem,  "If I Could See the Sky", is full of wonder and purpose in life. The title could be a writing prompt for intermediate to middle-school-age children who are dreamers, nature lovers, and artists. 

There are at least 60 poems with varied formats included in this anthology. Children will enjoy reading and writing poems using the mentor texts provided in the collection. Teachers will find the book a wealth of ideas for new lessons, especially since environmental and ecological issues are in the news these days.  This summer is an ideal time for children and teachers to dig into this anthology that praises Earth. Perhaps, thoughts on becoming future stewards of our planet will evolve after reading this book.

Below you will find a song, Love Song to the World, that pairs well with Bless The Earth. For some musically inclined children, this song may be an incentive to write lyrics that flow like poetry for the opening of school. 

As a person who enjoys nature and thinks about keeping the Earth pristine for future generations, I highly recommend this book with its ties to humanity, the environment, and spirituality. 

May summertime be filled with thoughts of gratitude for our beautiful planet Earth. Thank you, June Cotner, Nancy Tupper Ling, and Keum Jin Song for a wonder-filled anthology that my little grandgirls will read throughout the years as will many other children.

@CVarsalona, 2017, Long Island, NY

Note: This book review will be featured on my Poetry Parade Padlet here.

Now, I am off to Poetry Friday where a poet-friend on the side of the United States is hosting the Roundup. Thank you, Denise Krebs for opening your space for the Poetry Friday poets and sharing your thoughts on the sacred seven poem format and poetry ops. 


  1. It is a 'blessed' book, Carol, I agree, each poem taking time to show us earth's joys. Thanks for that 'extra' video/song, a good way to end! Enjoy your weekend!

  2. Hello lovely Carol. This looks like an amazing collection - perfect for you! (And that illustration spread is just gorgeous!)

  3. Carol: We think about our grandkids and we hope for clean water and clean air and a fresh day. Thank you for this beautiful post!

  4. Carol, what a lovely review of this new book that I don't know. I'm off to request a copy. The future of our world for our littles is a constant source of concern.

  5. Carol, what a beautiful collection you have shared. I so enjoyed reading all the excerpts from the book, the sweet poems, especially by Jillian. Thanks for the lovely and convincing book review and video. (Oops, I thought I posted this comment awhile back, but realized I didn't.)

  6. Thanks for the lovely review of this lovely book, Carol!

  7. So glad to hear you enjoyed the anthology, Carol! Thank you so much for this wonderful review.

    1. Matt, a special moment happens when friends author new books and I can review them with delight and excitement.