The Moonling has a small plot, or storyline, but then becomes this amazing world. An Earthling has a friendship with a Moonling, but it’s so much more than that.
It’s about how we call ourselves a wise species, but where’s the proof of this? For thousands of years we have been killing each other and destroying the earth for more material belongings.
It’s about how we abuse the earth because we regard it as a commodity that belongs to us, and when we (just like Karl in the story) finally see that the earth is a body (or community) to which we belong, then only may we begin to use it with love and respect.
It’s about more and more children today that have less and less contact with the natural world because of technology and the fact that their spare time must be spend more constructively – there’s just no more time for kicking your heels outdoors. Children today miss out on the “downtime” so prevalent in the past. Kids need to be outside. They need to explore, get dirty, find stuff – they need to have fun!
Research shows that empathy with, and love of, nature grows out of children’s regular contact with the natural world. Unless our children make nature personal, they will continue to be aliens on their own planet and then where will the future stewards of the earth come from?