My youngest daughter received If You Come to Earth by Sophie Blackall as a Christmas gift and it has been on heavy rotation in our reading list ever since. The book has both a beautiful message and beautiful illustrations. It is written as a letter from a young child to any visitors from outer space who may be considering stopping by Earth.
It describes the different places people live, the different things we do, the different types of animals that inhabit the planet with us... while celebrating all of the things that make us different the book also focuses on the commonalities that unite us.
After pages describing all the different things that people can do (jobs, hobbies, etc...) you turn the page to see a large table filled with different types of food and people from all walks of life and it says, "Whatever we are doing, we need to eat when we are hungry. Some of us have more food that others. We all need food and water to survive."
The illustrations are detailed and beautifully drawn. My daughter can not yet read, but she will spend time "reading" this book to herself, pouring over each page, taking note of all the little details... getting just as excited when there is something familiar ("Mom! Those kids are drawing at school just like me!") as when she is discovering something new ("Mom! Did you know some people live in houses on boats in the water?!?").
If You Come to Earth does a fabulous job filling the reader with a sense of wonder and awe at the variety and vastness of the world in which we live, while also fostering a sense of conectedness between all of us, humans, animals, and plants, who living together on this planet.
At the end of the book it says, "There are lots of things we don't know... But right this minute, we are here togeher on this beautiful planet. If you come to Earth, you can stay in my room."