Celebrate Earth Month with Lea Redmond: Our Friend Earth

Happy Earth Month! It’s time to give our planet the recognition it deserves. And as a publisher who’s committed to sustainability, it’s incredibly important to us to steward conversations about eco-consciousness.

In celebration, we’re excited to chat with Lea Redmond, author of Our Friend Moon and upcoming release, Our Friend Earth. Check out Publishing Assistant Brooke Shannon’s conversation with Redmond below.


Q: Our Friend Earth is the sequel to your award-winning series, Full Circle Books. What inspired you to write this follow-up?

Oh gosh, I’d do the whole solar system if I could! After beginning with the Moon, the Earth felt like the obvious next astronomical body to highlight within the series. I’m glad we began with the Moon because toddlers are oftentimes already aware of it. They can see it and point to it up in the sky! However, the Earth is a bit trickier to wrap one’s brain around, no matter how old you are. We’re so close to it! And that’s why it can be all too easy to take the Earth for granted. 

With Our Friend Moon, we reach out to what’s beyond us. With Our Friend Earth, we come home, back to ourselves.

Q: The book’s circular shape is a rather notable feature. Why was it important for this book to encourage a tactile reading experience?

I’m an artist as much as an author. So, I’m always thinking about the object-quality of anything I make, regardless of whether it is a clay cup or a book. I think people of all ages deserve to touch things that honor their hands, and I especially think young children are a prime audience for such experiences. They are in a phase of life where they’re most curious about the world around them! 

The simple circle shape is intended to honor the urge and joy of discovering the world around you. Each planet in the series stands alone and gets to “float” on young readers’ shelves, just as the real planet does. 



Q: Our Friend Earth has close thematic ties to environmental awareness and sustainability. How can caregivers and educators use this book to teach children about caring for the planet?

For this age, I think the message is simple. This is Earth. This is where we live, and it is a very lovely place. The Earth feeds us and gives us, and many other animal and plant friends, air to breathe.  The Earth shares so many of its gifts with us. Let’s say “thank you,” and treat our home planet well in return. 

There’s another message in Our Friend Earth that is equally important. In addition to cultivating a sense of eco-stewardship, the book invites children and parents alike to remember that they can turn to the Earth for emotional stability. When feeling nervous, sad, or lonely, we can remember that we have this gigantic friend right under our feet, always offering support. This book encourages us to find peace and comfort in knowing that.  

Q: Can we look forward to new projects within the Full Circle Books series?

I sure hope so! I would like to highlight the Sun next. The Earth wouldn’t be habitable for life, and the Moon wouldn’t shine without it. The Sun is the source of all of it. Truthfully, I’d love for the series to get all the way to Pluto. 


Meet the Author

Lea Redmond reveals the extraordinary hiding in the ordinary: a saltshaker, a penny, hand gestures, clouds. Lea creates books, toys, games and small adventures that invite humans of all ages to be curious, playful, and kind. Lea works and plays in Oakland, California. You can visit her world of wonder at LeaRedmond.com.

Meet the Illustrator

Regina Shklovsky is an illustrator and graphic designer based in Sonoma County, California. She illustrated the 2018 picture book, Fun in the Mud, which was a 2019 Moonbeam award winner and a 2018 Nautilus award winner. She is passionate about bringing stories to life with pictures and thoughtful design. Her work is rooted in traditional drawing and painting, mixed with vector graphics. She collaborates with local entrepreneurs and authors, as well as independent publishers.