CAN, JP, US, INT)
Written by; Helaine Becker
Illustrated by: Willow Dawson
Published by: Kids Can Press
Published on: April 1, 2012
Sunday is Earth Day, and this is a holiday that means a lot more to me now that I live in Japan. The disasters on 3/11 and the constant rumbling of our friendly neighbourhood volcano ensure I never forget just how much power Mother Nature has over our lives.
When I was a kid the big thing I worried about was the cold war. I was worried about the US testing nuclear weapons in Canadian airspace, directly flying over my home. I was worried that the US and USSR would set off their nuclear weapons and mutual destruction would mean Canada, and therefore me and my family, would be dead too.
But my kids don't know the cold war. What they do know is that there are rivers that companies like Chisso Corporation have poisoned and we can't go swimming there no matter how inviting it looks. They know that our food options have been reduced in the past year after 3/11. They know that we have to check our food and water to make sure it's safe. Because of this they worry. They worry about the yummy seaweed and whether radiation will kill it all off. They worry because adults worry, but also because they are just learning to grasp their own place in nature.
This book gave me and my kids 3 important things: knowledge about the ocean's creatures and their resilience, control over how they approach the ocean due to their physical experiments, and hope for the future of the world's oceans.
This book is presented as an environmental and science experiment book for older elementary school kids, but a few of the experiments are appropriate even for my kindergarteners. My kids are fascinated by the forming of ice now that they've seen it before their very eyes. It will be great to bring this book out as my children age and we can do experiments that match their interests and age level.
Like many Canadians of my age group, my first introduction to the idea of conservation was through Raffi's Baby Beluga. I was shocked that the little white whale on the go that I sang about was endangered. I was ecstatic to read that through the efforts of the people of Quebec the belugas in the rivers there have made great progress and are an environmental success story! This wasn't just a great book for my kids, it was for me too.
This review was posted for Nonfiction Monday, hosted this week by The Nonfiction Detectives.
This is the 37th book I have read for the 5th Canadian Book Challenge.