"The glaciers are melting! The glaciers are melting!" No, the
sky isn't falling in this book, but the animals are concerned that
the glaciers are melting and putting their homes at risk. The
Glaciers Are Melting, by Donna Love, is a children's picture
book that borrows its premise from the story of Chicken Little.
The glaciers are melting, and the animals are trying to reach the
Mountain Monarch to find out what they can do.
The story follows the Chicken Little storyline fairly well, with Peter Pika
meeting animal after animal on his journey to find the Mountain Monarch. Each
animal joins him after learning of his message, and they are almost tricked
by Wiley Wolverine when the Mountain Monarch shows up to protect them. The
illustrations by Shennen Bersani are the best part of this book. She uses a
mixed media approach, which blends paint, colored pencils, and crayons together
to make very detailed illustrations. The animals are charmingly realistic,
and the mountain scenery is beautiful. Both children and parents will enjoy
the illustrations as they read this book.
The Glaciers Are Melting concludes with six educational
pages that cover a variety of topics in the activities. There is
general information about glaciers as well as information regarding
the changes in their size over the years. Children can also learn
about where glaciers are located, which continents have glaciers
and which do not, and what they can do to help the environment.
Two pages teach about the different mountain animals that appear
in this story and how they are adapted for life in their habitat.
The educational section concludes with questions to help children
understand the moral of the story. The moral of the story is that
global warming is causing the glaciers to melt, which will have
a negative impact on the animals and the entire world. The Mountain
Monarch explains to the animals that they can't do anything to
help themselves. They can only hope that the children who read
this book will learn from it and take steps to protect the animals
and the environment. This is an ecological activism book that does
play on the emotions of the reader. The book is designed to arouse
a sense of urgency in caring for the environment and protecting
the cute animals introduced in the story.
Parents who want their children to learn about ecology and ways
that they can help protect the environment will enjoy this charming
story and its lesson. The activity pages at the back are useful
learning tools to help children understand the importance of caring
for the world they live in. On the other hand, parents who doubt
the existence of global warming and resent alarmist reactions will
not appreciate the message or the tactics of this book. The
Glaciers Are Melting does provide families with a good foundation
for discussing their beliefs about the earth and environmentalism.
Personally, I like the book. I like the way the story is presented,
and I love the illustrations. The one thing I dislike is the last
manipulative tactic that uses emotion to inspire action on the
final page. Although I don't agree with many interpretations of
the global warming theory, this book presents it in a tolerable
way. It does not promote an extremist viewpoint, and the educational
pages stick with fact rather than supposition (though young earth
creationists will dispute the reference to glacier sizes 20,000
years ago). The "What Can We Do?" section includes helpful information
about reducing energy use and protecting the environment that aligns
with what I teach my own children.
The Glaciers Are Melting is not a book that I can whole-heartedly
endorse, but it is one that I can cautiously recommend. This is
not a book to blindly hand to your children to read for themselves,
but rather, it is a book to read together and then discuss in light
of your family's beliefs and actions. I am sure that every family
could benefit from the discussion this book would inspire.