I am glad to see that authors are writing books for children on climate change. Rising Above Global Warming, written by B. J. DeFrancesco and illustrated by Shari Lynn Myers, is the story of a father and son. The father, named Dee Nile, does not believe in global warming and owns polluting factories. The son tries to talk to his father about the effects of climate change they are observing, and his father’s standard reply is “poppycock”.
Rising Above Global Warming is the first children’s book I have read that deals with the denial many adults have about climate change. I imagine many children try to have conversations with their ignorant parents on the subject, similar to the characters in this book. Eventually, as the ocean rises, snow melts in the mountains, and the beloved birds leave the town of Terra, Dee Nile realizes climate change is real and happening. The characters then make positive changes, such as planting trees and powering the factory with wind power. Their efforts pay off, and the effects of climate change are reversed. DeFrancesco explains:
My story is positive. It empowers children to get involved and not be afraid to act. I want them to know they can make a difference. The bottom line, it is not too late to do something about global warming. It starts with one person making a difference, then it escalates.
Although I like this book, and it discusses climate change in terms children can understand, I am not too sure about the resolution. The global warming effects seen by the inhabitants of Terra are not reversible: the polar ice caps will not be restored once they have melted nor the oceans recede. In trying to give children hope and simplify the message, the author misleads children slightly, besides I think the part where the fish have salt shakers to resalinate the ocean a bit odd. If we take action now, yes we can stop these catastrophic effects of climate change, but if we wait…