Be a 2-minute superhero!
“Our planet is in trouble. It needs YOU.” Today, April 22nd, is Earth Day, time for some action. Kids who read Kids Fight Climate Change can learn how to be a 2-minute planet-saving superhero. This hilarious and informative book by Martin Dorey and illustrated by Tim Wesson describes sixty fun missions kids can do each day that will make a difference.
For starters, there’s a pledge of allegiance to Earth. Kid-friendly explanations – of what climate change is, how it will affect nature, what causes it, and how it scrambles the balance of life – will entice kids to act. Mission One is to count your carbon which explains the greenhouse effect, fossil fuels, and each climate superhero’s carbon footprint. This first 2-minute mission discusses calculating the difference between indoor and outdoor temperatures; for computing that, the reader gets 5 points. The number of points depends on the difficulty of the mission. Each mission builds on the previous, eventually giving a thorough overview of this critical problem and many points for good actions completed.
The format includes sidebars and fun facts that enliven the informative body text, told in simple, straightforward language. In the section on fighting climate change at the supermarket, the text explains that how food is farmed, transported, packaged, and later thrown out consumes lots of energy and is bad for the planet in other ways. The sidebar reads, “Goodbye Forest: In 2017, data revealed that the world lost more than one soccer field of forest every second.” That variety of relatable facts helps kids understand the big picture. Advice is given on buying local and not wasting produce.
On Mission 6: Fight Climate change with your (lack of) stuff, there are no less than six 2-minute missions, each of which is worth points. One example suggests, “Donate your toys to a toy drive so that other kids can play with them for free.” That earns 10 points. Other 2-minute missions focus on what kids can do to recycle and reduce waste at school, how to lower climate impact when traveling, and even ways to save energy when flushing. The project for that one is to make a water-saving device for inside the toilet tank.
Mr. Dorey includes the occasional pun or other humor to keep the text lively. For instance, when talking about hydropower, an insert says – “Waternamazing fact: Norway gets 95 percent of its power from hydroelectric energy.” That is groanworthyness any kid can appreciate.
Tim Wesson’s simple, goofy illustrations are supremely suited for the humor in this book. And he has included kids of different races, ableness, and even one that looks a bit like the famous climate activist Greta Thunberg.
At the end of the book are more 2-minute actions and URLs for sites helping the climate in other ways. The author, Martin Dorey, has started the 2 Minute Foundation, a charity that encourages beach clean-ups and other 2-minute actions to keep our Earth healthy.
For my own 2-minute mission (okay, maybe a bit longer than that) for today’s Earth Day, I was asked to paint the world’s continents on a yoga ball and a beach ball. They will be used for a kids’ climate action event in Newburyport, MA today, April 22. The smaller one will be carried by a costumed stiltwalker to reflect the idea shown in a beautiful poster designed by Lance Hidy.
We can all do our own little bit, encouraged by the children who will inherit this Earth.
And there’s more from Martin Dorey and Tim Wesson to get kids excited! They will also want to read Kids Fight Plastic with its 52 missions to save the oceans. Kids Fight Climate Change and Kids Fight Plastic are excellent motivators for young people to help keep our Earth healthy.