Palm Trees at the North Pole: The Hot Truth About Climate Change by Marc ter Horst, illustrations by Wendy Panders. Translated by Laura Watkinson

Palm Trees at the North Pole: The Hot Truth About Climate Change by Marc ter Horst, illustrations by Wendy Panders. Translated by Laura Watkinson. Greystone Kids, 9781771646826, 2021

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5+

What did you like about the book? This book offers ten chapters packed with information about climate change–past and present. Each chapter has a silly title that actually deals with a very important topic. For example, “Chimneys & Cow Farts” explores the greenhouse gases that come out of our homes, vehicles, and cows in the pasture. The chapter “Oh Yes, It Is! Oh No, It Isn’t” looks at the opposing views of climate change. Each chapter is filled with several sections that relate to the topic of the chapter. In the chapter “Calamity & Disaster” the reader can see some of the negative consequences of climate change. The sections in this chapter focus on how rising tide levels are obliterating some towns and villages, how rising temperatures are possibly causing more hurricanes, how some countries like Bolivia are experiencing a drought and lack of drinking water, and how there is an increase in disease-carrying insects such as ticks and mosquitos because of warmer weather.

The illustrations provided by Wendy Panders are bright, colorful, and sometimes even a little silly. In addition, these illustrations help with the understanding of the material. There are maps, graphs, charts, and portraits of scientists all used to help comprehend all the material in this book. Illustrations are used to explain El Niño, how people use wind in their lives, all the things in our homes powered by electricity, and a silly visual of crying babies used to show the comparison of births per minute in 1910 and in 2010.

Anything you did not like about the book. Nothing.

To whom would you recommend this book? I think this book could be used with a wide age range of children. Children as young as five years old would enjoy hearing some of these stories, especially about learning ways they can help to avoid damaging the climate. Older children will enjoy some of the more detailed illustrations and stories. I would recommend this book to any child who is concerned about the environment and also wants to do something about it.

Who should buy this book? Public and elementary school libraries, anyone who works with children between the ages of 5 and 12 years old. Great for a classroom.

Where would you shelve it? Nonfiction

 Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Kristin Guay, former youth services librarian.

Date of review: April 5, 2021

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