flying eagle illustration

You can follow
Wisdom Tales Press on:

Facebook LogoPinterest Logo
buffalo illustration

Wisdom Tales Newsletter

Our periodic e-newsletters keep you up to date with our new books, special offers, etc. It is free, and easy to subscribe (or to unsubscribe):  just click on the secure button below.

Recent Videos on YouTube:

We have a playlist on the World Wisdom YouTube channel, featuring Crow tribe Sun Dance Chief and Medicine Man Thomas Yellowtail.

Click here to view and play any or all of the videos with Thomas Yellowtail, on the YouTube site.

Recent Honors

NYC Big Book Awards:

• Two Winner awards for:

The Clever Wife: A Kyrgyz Folktale

• Two Distinguished Favorite Awards for:

Little Bear: An Inuit Folktale

• Two Winner Awards for:

Zen and the Ten Oxherding Pictures

Wisdom Tales
is a member of:


Sharing the wisdom and beauty of cultures from around the world
Home > Children's Books > When the Animals Saved Earth

Available Now

at your local bookseller or your favorite online book retailer.

When the Animals Saved Earth:
An Eco-Fable
by: Alexis York Lumbard
illustrated by: Demi
Subject(s): Age(s) / grade level / Lexile:

Juvenile Fiction / Animals ; Legends, Myths, Fables

5 & up / 2–3 / Lexile: 560L

Format: Size / page count:


10" × 8.75" / 32 pages

ISBN: Date available:


April 2015



On a secluded island, hidden in a faraway sea, the animals live in peace and prosperity. But one day, the winds of fate bring humans to their shore. Down come trees and up go houses, farms, and a bustling market. The humans capture the animals and put them to work. A great sadness falls upon the land, and only a young boy named Adam can hear the animals’ cries. Compelled to act, Adam escapes into the jungle and joins with the remaining free animals, attempting to summon the Spirit King, Bersaf. Will the king bring the humans to trial for their harmful actions? Will justice be had? Will balance return to land, sea, and sky?

This multicultural environmental tale is inspired by a 1,000-year-old animal fable from 10th-century Muslim Iraq. The original fable was translated by a Jewish rabbi at the command of a Christian king in the 14th century.

Alexis York Lumbard is the author of the award-winning titles The Conference of the Birds (illustrated by Demi), Angels (illustrated by Flavia), and more recently Everyone Prays (illustrated by Alireza Sadeghian) and Pine and the Winter Sparrow (illustrated by Beatriz Vidal). A busy mother of three, she was motivated to write by her children. With a B.A. in Religious Studies from George Washington University, it is her sincere hope to bring the wisdom and beauty of the world’s cultures and religions to the eager minds of young children. Alexis lives with her husband and three daughters in Natick, MA.

Demi is the award-winning author of over 130 bestselling children’s books. Her titles have sold over half a million copies. The Empty Pot was selected by former First Lady Barbara Bush as one of the books to be read on the ABC Radio Network Program Mrs. Bush’s Story Time, sponsored by the Children’s Literacy Initiative. Demi’s book Gandhi was named a New York Times Best Illustrated Book and received an Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award. In addition, she represented the United States at the First International Children’s Book Conference in Beijing, China. , WA.

Videos Related to the Book (hide/show)

The Book Trailer Video for
When the Animals Saved Earth: An Eco-Fable

Watch the video below to get a visual summary of the pages in the book.

Awards & Honors
  • Winner in the “Picture Book” category of the 2015 Middle East Book Awards
  • Award-Winner in the “Children's Mind/Body/Spirit” category of the 2015 USA “Best Book” Awards

Reviews (hide/show)

“Alexis York Lumbard portrays greed, animal cruelty, and a king’s call for compassion in this pointed retelling of a story from Iraq. . . . For children, the brief inclusion of problems such as deforestation, pollution, and poisoned waters serve as caution against hubris. . . . The story’s concise, alliterative expressions make reading aloud a pleasure. . . . Demi’s sumptuous textiles, colorful compositions, and miniature figures lend battle scenes as well as encounters with the king a tapestry-like quality. . . . With its earnest approach, When the Animals Saved Earth is a vivid reminder to preserve rather than destroy [the earth]. The book appeals to a child’s natural sense of justice and is a fitting introduction to the Wisdom Tales imprint.”
ForeWord Reviews, from a review by Karen Rigby
“[This is an] ancient but topical tale first recorded in 10th-century Iraq… [Author] Lumbard adds a loving lad named Adam to the original as a stand-in for young readers… [The illustrator, Demi, has painted] scenes of delicately drawn figures floating gracefully in diaphanous settings.”
Kirkus Reviews
“As usual, Demi shines in her richly detailed portrayal of animals…”
Publishers Weekly
Pages from the book “When the Animals Saved Earth”, by Demi

A sample spread from the book When the Animals Saved Earth: An Eco-Fable
written by Alexis York Lumbard and illustrated by Demi

Home About Us Contact Us Press Page Privacy Notice FAQs
Copyright © 2012 World Wisdom, Inc.

flying eagle illustration

horses illustration
illustration of a woman in a sari