Reviewed by Lois Henderson for Readers' Favorite
What child does not love pandas and koala bears? Despite the widely diverse nature of the habitats in which the two thrive in the real world, they are joyfully united in the delightful children’s book, Journey to a New Earth: Penelope Panda and Kobi Koala Discover a New Earth, written by Zeiny Sher and illustrated by Zuzana Svobodová. When Penelope Panda, as it is such a lovely day, decides to go for a walk in the forest, little does she know that she will encounter Kobi Koala, just recently escaped from a forest fire in which he lost all his friends. Penelope reassures Kobi that she will help find his friends, so the intrepid duo sets out to do just that.
The bright colors used in the cheerful illustrations in Journey to a New Earth should be enough to uplift any child. The deep-felt message of the essentially harmonious nature of the natural environment brings a reinforcing spirit to the book that shows the true intent of Zeiny Sher―to illustrate just how beautiful the world can be when all creatures live in harmony. The text is very reassuring and conveys a tranquil sense of the beauty that is most probably only present in visions of an Earth restored to its full self, sans corruption and pollution (being a “new world”, as such). In deeper terms, the world that is idealized here could very well be a spiritual one, elevated far above the norm. Some interesting question and answer sessions could easily arise from this book, especially in a class or Sunday school setting. An intriguing idea, colorfully presented!