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EARTH by Brenda Z. Guiberson


Feeling the Heat

by Brenda Z. Guiberson and illustrated by Chad Wallace

Age Range: 7 - 9

Pub Date: March 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-8050-7719-3
Publisher: Henry Holt

A polar bear tumbles on cracking ice, allowing the seal that was to be her prey to escape. A North Sea puffin returns to her nest with her beak empty of the departed sand eels that would have fed her chick. Taking younger readers around the globe, Guiberson presents a series of vignettes featuring animals in distress due to changes in climate and in each asks: “Who can help?” Wallace provides additional emotional resonance with soft-focus scenes of depressed-looking creatures in natural settings enhanced by dark lighting and subtly modulated colors. He closes with a view of children planting a tree, which the author reinforces with a direct answer to her own question—“PEOPLE CAN!”—and a page of energy-saving tips. Analytical readers might note that the author doesn’t show much feeling for that seal, the sand eels and other wildlife that might benefit from or at least adapt to global warming—but as a heartfelt and eye-catching appeal to sympathy, this is likely to be more effective in raising consciousness about climate issues than a more balanced approach would. (Informational picture book. 7-9)