You Can’t Have My Planet, But Take My Brother… on Earth Day!

April 22nd, 2012 by

Today is April 22nd, which means it’s EARTH DAY! Today’s the day we should celebrate the lovely (and only) planet we inhabit by putting extra effort into green living, such as recycling, planting trees, being kind to animals, not wasting energy, and a billion other things you can do

A while back, Karen posted about some awesome books to check out in honor of Earth Day. And last year I interviewed science writer Seymour Simon and got the dirt on cow farts.

This year, I decided to honor Earth Day by reading You Can’t Have My Planet, But Take My Brother, Please by James Mihaley… completely random, I know! But it turned out to be the perfect book for Earth Day. In it, 13-year-old Giles is the less-than-impressive middle child of the family, and he’s pretty annoyed that his formerly cool big brother would rather study for the SATs than hang out with him.

On vacation, he spots a sleazy real estate agent (who happens to be an alien) selling Earth to a king and queen (who also happen to be aliens. After parking their alien spaceship for them with his mind, Giles finds out that human beings have lost their right to inhabit Earth because we’ve treated it so poorly… and we’re being evicted to the depressing, barren planet of Desoleen.

At this moment, you’re probably like, “Whaaaaaa is going on in this book?”

It’s okay. That’s how I felt, too… so I read on! Here are just a few hijinks and crazy characters Giles encounters:

  • He has only three days to clean up an island. The island of Manhattan. Or it’s off to Desoleen the human race goes!
  • In the three days, Giles is only allowed to have two other human kids to help him.
  • And there’s an evil human bully and an evil alien bully trying to thwart his every move.
  • So thankfully, he’s got a blue alien lawyer named Tula (that he has a giant teensy crush on) to help him out.
  • Along with an army of alien androids that eventually transform into trees.
  • And other alien inventions at his disposal… like a flea-sized flyplane that runs on rhymes. So it’s a good thing Giles is a Warrior Poet.
  • And much, much more!

So today, on Earth Day, I stayed in with this wacky book and thought, if Giles is going through such great lengths to save Earth for humans, then we should too! So, what did you do for Earth Day?

— Nancy

Nancy was determined to use as little electricity as possible today, which resulted in eating cold pizza. Yum… cold pizza.

Happy Earth Day Interview with Author Seymour Simon

April 22nd, 2011 by

Today is Earth Day, which means you should go out and buy a gift for Earth. I heard it likes flowers.

Just kidding! But seriously, guys, today (and every day after until the next April 22nd) is a day to think about the awesome planet we live on… and one person who knows a lot about Earth and its residents (you, me, and the animals) is author Seymour Simon!

I caught up him for an email interview (so we didn’t waste paper and trees, of course):

Q: Did you always want to write about science and animals?

Seymour Simon: Always! For as long as I can remember I’ve been fascinated by the stars and by animals.

Q: What was your favorite book to read when you were a kid? What would you recommend to kids?

Seymour Simon: I used to love to read science fiction and fantasy books when I was a kid. My favorites were stories about visiting distant planets circling stars far out in the Milky Way Galaxy and reading about the creatures that might exist way out there. In fact, the first book I ever wrote (when I was in 2nd grade) was called Space Monsters! I wrote it with a pencil on lined paper and my teacher forced the kids in the class to listen to me when I read it to them. I’d recommend reading any book you enjoy, never mind the topic or the title. I loved, and still love, reading books about space and animals. And I love reading books about anything really, as long as I’m interested in what I’m reading.

Q: What are some things you think kids can do to help the environment?

Seymour Simon: I think that kids can do many things. Here are a bunch of comments on my blog that kids wrote to me about what they’re doing for Earth Day. It’s just amazing how much a single individual can do to make a difference!

I don't think any of us want to get too close to this guy!

Q: A lot of the books you write are dedicated to a single animal, such as dogs, cats, dolphins, and even dinosaurs! Are you scared of any animals?

Seymour Simon: Not scared, but careful. I wouldn’t walk up to a bear I met while I was walking in the woods and scratch his back. Or go over to a growling dog and offer him my fingers for lunch.

Q: Cow farts and burps, as noted on your website, are a big cause of global warming. Do you ever feel bad about eating that super yummy steak?

Seymour Simon: Only afterward. We all can’t be perfect, and I’m certainly not perfect. Some people (and some animals) are vegetarians. More power to them. But some people (and some animals) are omnivores or carnivores. I accept what I am, but I can try to help change things, such as observing Meatless Mondays each week.

Q: Was science your favorite subject growing up?

Seymour Simon: Astronomy and space. They still are favorites.

Q: What’s the most exotic animal you’ve seen in person?

Seymour Simon: Elephant seals in breeding season on a beach near Big Sur in California. Much bigger than you can imagine. And very, very noisy and smelly too!

Mr. E. Seal: "I said, no pictures!" Mrs. E. Seal: "Shush, and smile!" Photo Credit: Seymour Simon

Q: What do you think you’d rather do, and why: travel into space, deep sea dive into the depths of the ocean, or dig a tunnel to the center of the earth?

Seymour Simon: Travel into space or deep dive into the ocean are about equal. Either would be exciting and fascinating. Digging a tunnel doesn’t do much for me.

Q: What’s the most interesting fact you’ve ever learned from researching for a book you’re writing?

Seymour Simon: That there are more stars in the universe than there are grains of sand on every beach on Earth! When I speak to kids in schools around the country, I always tell them about that.

Seymour Simon speaking for Earth Day 2010 in Washington, D.C.

Thanks for the interview, Mr. Simon! So, Kidsmomo-ers — how about you? Leave a comment and tell us what you’d rather do, and why: travel into space, deep sea dive into the depths of the ocean, or dig a tunnel to the center of the earth? And since all three of those adventures don’t seem feasible without a lot of planning, how else will you celebrate Earth Day?

— Nancy

Karen doesn’t eat cows at all, and Nancy thinks she’ll start skipping meat on Mondays too. Since her favorite food is fruit, it shouldn’t be a problem!

Meet Nancy »