Why Are the Ice Caps Melting? – Perfect Picture Book Friday

iceTitle: Why Are The Ice Caps Melting? The Dangers of Global Warming

Written by: Anne Rockwell

Illustrated by: Paul Meisel

Published by: Harper Collins, 2006

Themes/Topics: Global warming, the greenhouse effect, science, conservation

Suitable for ages: 7-11

Let’s Read And Find Out Science, Stage 2 – 40 pages

Opening:

Planet earth, where we live, is a remarkable place. As far as scientists are able to tell, this small planet is the only place int he vast universe filled with other planets and stars that has plants and animals. That’s because Earth may be the only place where the conditions are just right for living things to exist.

Synopsis:

This nonfiction book picture book introduces the basic scientific concept of global warming to elementary school children in a scientific and yet simple kid-friendly manner. The earth is getting hotter, ice caps are melting, water levels are rising. Details are offered of evidence that our world is slowly warming up due to the greenhouse effect of the gases human activity is creating. Children are depicted in urban, rural and coastal settings experiencing these effects. This book looks at the why of these changes and the how every child can make a difference in countering this problem.

The final spread before the back matter includes an exhortation for young readers to learn more about the earth and perhaps become scientists themselves. The accompanying illustration shows children exploring sea life in the clear blue ocean near a beach.

The end pages cleverly expose the problem in a visual way for children, with the front pages depicting a flock of penguins on large icebergs and the back end pages showing the same flock restricted to much smaller icebergs.

Why I like This Book:

The science behind and evidence for global warming is not dumbed down in this colorful information-packed nonfiction picture book.  How and why global warming is effecting the planet is clearly explained, including information about carbon dioxide sources both in the text and in Meisel’s bright ink and watercolor paintings. A nod is given to some scientists and others not believing in global warming, but the text clearly states that the majority of scientists interpret the evidence to support human-aggravated global warming. The book includes ways to recycle, and what young readers can do to fight global warming. I think it is a great addition to any environmental unit. While it is written 9 years ago, its relevance is probably even greater now.

Activities/Resources:

Set some writing assignments as part of environment unit. For example, children could describe what in a typical days of theirs contributes to global warming and what they could do to reduce it.

The final two pages are dedicated to learning more about the greenhouse effect and a page on ways for children and families to help contain global warming.

Learning to Live has a lesson plan on the greenhouse effect.

Beyond the penguins offers lesson plans and activities for K-5 grades to build the foundations for climate literacy.

EARTH DAY 2015, is coming up on Wed, April 22nd, so I am doing a series of book reviews leading up to this that you may wish to incorporate into your celebration.

Each week a group of bloggers reviews picture books we feel would make great educational reads. To help teachers, caregivers and parents, we have included resources and activities with each of our reviews. A complete list of the thousands of books we have reviewed can be found sorted alphabetically and by topics, here on Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.

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11 Responses to Why Are the Ice Caps Melting? – Perfect Picture Book Friday

  1. Lovely looking book and a very interesting and current message that is happening everywhere. I love how books like this get kids thinking about their environment, such a necessary thing if we want kids of the future to enjoy what we have today. Great find Joanna.

    • Joanna says:

      I like the detail in this book. It is a challenging read but children enjoy getting their heads around science.

  2. I was a bit surprised that this book is 9 years old — about the time people were beginning to talk about global warming. I think most older kids today know about global warming and want to do something because it will impact their lives. I love that it suggests things kids can do. It is a great book for Earth Day. Great resources!

  3. Joanne Sher says:

    This looks like a fabulous resource. Great pick as we approach Earth Day – thanks for sharing!

  4. I’ll be interested to have a look and see how one can present a serious subject and without too much doom and gloom. Thanks, Joanna.

  5. Anne Rockwell does a good job explaining something that too many people simply want to ignore (or deny). We need more books like this.

  6. This book looks awesome because I tend to be drawn to matter-of-fact non-fiction titles. Perfect timing, too, with Earth Day approaching! Thanks, Joanna.

  7. Pingback: The Last Polar Bear – Perfect Picture Book Friday | Miss Marple's Musings

  8. Pingback: EARTH DAY, 2015 on Miss Marple’s Musings – How will you celebrate? | Miss Marple's Musings

  9. Thanks Miss Marple for featuring this book. I try and celebrate the beauty and riches of our planet every day. Right now I am working at writing another picture book on the natural world, and it’s hard!

    • Joanna says:

      I am so glad another one is in the works. These are themes and issues dear to my heart that I try and weave into my novels and picture books! It is hard!

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