Project Description

PlaySaidEarth_coverPlay, Said the Earth to Air

By Richard Lewis

Reimagined and designed by Heidi Neilson – based on the original stage set by Gigi Alvaré

Touchstone Center Publications, 2013

Watching leaves scatter with the wind, or water spill over rocks—you can begin to feel the exuberant and subtle playing that is nature. In his poem, Play, Said the Earth to Air, Richard Lewis invites us to experience once again the play that makes up light and air, colors and sounds—as they are brought together with all that is playful in our individual ways of knowing and imagining.

With evocatively rendered images by Heidi Neilson, transformed from an original puppet stage created by Gigi Alvaré for an arts and education project of The Touchstone Center, this book celebrates and unites the play of the natural world with what is equally and profoundly at play in each of us.

A collaboration perhaps, more than ever, necessary for the well-being of all that is alive.


Play, Said the Earth to Air
ISBN: 978-1-929299-12-6
44 pages paperbound $12.00

Play, Said the Earth to Air is a book of extraordinary simplicity and beauty. Richard Lewis, with his customary grace, has provided us with a little gem that is more than a book – it is an act of kindness.

–Morgan Leichter-Saxby, Pop-Up Adventure Play

Thank you for the gift of your beautiful book. The opportunity to celebrate playfulness in all its exuberance and joy is so important now, we are grateful to you for your brave reminders.

–Naomi Trubowitz, Writer and Filmmaker

Richard Lewis has a unique ability to give children an outlet for their inner lives to flourish in an imaginative way. Play, Said the Earth to Air attests to his style of developing and encouraging the imagination by offering the reader the playfulness found both in nature and in ourselves. The fluidity of the text and the soft edges of the illustrations reflect the natural environment in a simple and elegant way.

–Juliet Gray-Moliere, Sr. Manager of Early Childhood Education, Brooklyn Children’s Museum