When your kids start to ask the tough questions, not all of us are equipped to answer them. Where does Global Warming come from? is a new question facing today's youth. In this book, Laurie David, the producer of An Inconvenient Truth, and longtime children's book writer Cambria Gordon try their hands at an answer. Like the rest of us, children are bombarded with information about global warming, whether in school, from news programs, or by over-hearing the adults around them. The information is everywhere, but it can be hard to understand.
This book aims to make the science and facts clear, helpful and hopeful for children aged eight and older. Presumably most parents who will buy this book for their children have seen An Inconvenient Truth. Readers of this book are bound to notice a similar feel: Lots of pieces of information and facts interspersed with bright graphics, like a scrapbook of global warming information. All of the topics are kept short -- none more then two pages long. The book also relates the larger scope of global warming to the everyday life of a child. It includes examples that parents will love, and children who take the book to heart may start to help you in unexpected ways. For instance, the book relates cleaning your room to cleaning up our environment.
You'll be happy to know that the authors mention that mom is right: you should keep your room tidy. Also, you might notice your children pitching in and packing your groceries in a cloth bag instead of paper or plastic at the supermarket. And although you might not want to hear about global warming before your morning cup of coffee, be ready for your kids to comment about your morning latte from Starbucks (they'll suggest you use your mug from home.) If the one thing you can't stand about your child's carbon footprint is the time that they spend in front of the TV or computer, this book might leave you wanting more. It could benefit from addressing the fact that on average children spend over 40 hours a week in front of the TV or computer and very little time outdoors.
A big benefit for the environment could be turning off (or better yet unplugging) the tube and actually experiencing and learning to love the environment that they will someday need to protect on their own. Overall the book mixes photos, illustrations and facts in entertaining and clever ways: where Al Gore might have shown a graph or chart to represent global warming, The Down-to Earth Guide shows penguins and the Wicked Witch of the West (I'm Melting!). The heart of the book is in making the concept of global warming understandable for your kids.
While a mere one degree increase in world temperature might seem small, a comparison of a popsicle you can lick and one you'd have to drink might be what it takes to make your child's concern for global warming grow.
The Down-to-Earth Guide to Global Warming is written by Laurie David, the producer of An Inconvenient Truth and Cambria Gordon, who is a full-time children's author. Recommended for children ages 8 and up. It is published by Scholastic and is available now at Barnes and Noble
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