Stay cool, now…

Over 10,700 bloggers have joined in a global conversation so far today, and the number is still climbing as I write this.  It’s Blog Action Day–and the topic is climate change.

I spent some time this afternoon looking at kids’ resources on climate change.  Now, if I have a pet peeve about the publishing world, it’s the continuing lack of quality nonfiction for early elementary kids.  There have been some marvelous strides forward, don’t get me wrong–things have improved greatly in the last ten years.  But I still find myself at purchase order time, swearing under my breath as I scan library periodicals, publisher catalogs and vendor websites trying to find excellent nonfiction for my young students.  Science books in particular are a challenge to find–some authors dumb down material to the point that the material is erroneous or incomprehensible.

So it’s a pleasure to discover some great print resources on climate change for the K-6 crowd.

  • Spend some time reading the I.N.K. Blog: Interesting Nonfiction for Kids and you’ll find lots of children’s nonfiction to celebrate.  Marfe Ferguson Delano blogged on INK about her new book, Earth in the Hot Seat: Bulletins from a Warming World (National Geographic, 2009), describing the decisions she made about how she presented the facts of global warming.  The book scored a starred review from SLJ.
  • For a younger crowd, there’s the picture book format Polar Bear, Why is Your World Melting? by Robert Wells (Albert Whitman & Company, 2008).  One third grade teacher I know used this book last winter as part of a persuasive letter writing project–kids wrote letters outlining their ideas for cutting back on carbon emissions.
  • Another nonfiction picture book: Why Are the Ice Caps Melting? The Dangers of Global Warming, by Anne Rockwell (Harper Collins, 2006.)

Heaven knows there’s a ocean of information on the web about climate change–umm, a rising ocean, thanks to the melting of polar ice.  Here are a few rafts to cling to:

Stay cool, y’all.

UPDATE:  I should have mentioned two other website / blogs:  Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears:  An Online Magazine for K-5 Teachers and Meltfactor.org, the blog of Ohio State professor Jason Box.  I also just picked up the children’s picture book, Once I Was a Cardboard Box…But Now I’m a Book about Polar Bears! by Anton Poitier.  It just happened to be in the Scholastic Book Fair we’re hosting.  It’s a cute concept–the book is printed on paper made from…well, a recycled cardboard box.  The text has two “stories” side-by-side: the story of the life and threatened extinction of the polar bear, and the recycling of the paper on which the book is printed.

The official Blog Action Day count was 13,398 blogs from 155 countries.

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