Monday, August 11, 2008

Monday's green books series: 'Planet Earth Gets Well' by Madeline Kaplan (and a copy giveaway)

Many of us think of Planet Earth in terms of Mother. Author Madeline Kaplan sees it as child. And this child feels sick in her new children's book 'Planet Earth Gets Well', which is our book today on Monday's green books series.

So what's wrong with Planet Earth? "I have a runny nose. My ice caps are melting; and no matter what I do, I can't stop them from running into the ocean." This is just one of the environmental problem he is describing in the book (including high fever because his tempreture rises), which is formed in a way of dialogue between the child Planet Earth and his mother, who is no other than Mother Nature.

Mother Nature's diagnosis is very clear: "you have a bad case of global warming". She cares about her son's health and therefore tries to instruct him how to take better care of himself and gives him advice how his people (us..) should behave to take his temperature down.
There are three main things I like about the book:

1. The basic idea of Planet Earth as a child that doesn't feel well and asks his mom, Mother Nature, for advice. Somehow it seems to me that it fits reality much better than any other metaphoric description of Planet Earth.

2. The positive educational spirit of the book - this book aims to help young readers to think proactively about their environment. It gives children educational information about 'heavy stuff' such as global warming, energy depletion and deforestation, and at the same time stays optimistic and tries to show them that it's not too late to make Planet Earth feel better.

3. The illustrations are great. Taillefer Long's full color beautiful illustrations make it a vivid and attractive book for children.

This is Kaplan's first children's book and I enjoyed it very much. It is an intelligent children's tale that tries to give kids facts and explain concepts which are not that easy to explain to them (and sometimes not even to adults), but also tries to keep it fun and entertaining, as much as a story about a sick Planet Earth can be.

The bottom line is that children can identify with the poor little fellow and understand that they can make him feel better by doing little things -for example, "they could save trees in the forest by using less paper". This is an easy lesson and I'm sure many children will get it right. If their parents will understand and implement it as well, then there's a much better chance that Planet Earth will eventually get better.

Book details:

Book's name: Planet Earth Gets Well
Author: Madeline Kaplan
Illustrator:
Taillefer Long
Publisher:
BookSurge Publishing
Publication Date: April 20, 2008
The book is available on
Amazon.com.

And this book is also going green with Eco-Libris: As we announced earlier, the author, Madeline Kaplan, is working now with Eco-Libris to green up the book - a tree will be planted for every copy sold at the book signing events and at other promotional sales. Readers who will buy the book on these events will also receive our sticker with their book, saying "One tree planted for this book".

GIVEAWAY ALERT!!!
Author Madeline Kaplan will be giving away a copy of the book, and it also comes with a tree that will be planted for it with us and our sticker of course.

How you can win? please add a comment below with an answer the following question: what do you think children can do to make Planet Earth feel better, and what would be the best way for them to convince their parents to join them? if you have any personal stories of your own kids, please share! Submissions are accepted until Saturday, August 18, 12PM EST. The winner will be announced the following day.

50 comments:

gkstratos said...

I think that if you give kids the information and a few things to do, like recycle, compost and water conservation, they really run with it. My kids tend to keep me in line when I start to to slack a bit. Also, getting them involved with local 'green' projects, ie beach cleanup, neighborhood gardens, etc.
gkstratos@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

Planet Earth will feel better if our children realize that they have a right to a healthy earth, and that they have a right to challenge any and all actions that hurt their planet. Every little voice matters and they must use those little voices to fight for an earth that without them suffers in silence. Children often teach their parents many important lessons that the adults had long forgotten or had never learned in the first place. The best way to convince their parents to join them in saving the earth is to use their little voices to educate their parents whenever the children see someone hurting the earth. They will be heard.

hannagibson@hotmail.com

Wehaf said...

I think that is children feel really connected to the planet in a deep way they will take steps to take care of it. And I think a child's example is a very powerful way to convince a parent to do the right thing.

So to really connect children to Earth and nature, I think parents and educators should focus on giving a deep understanding of the world around us, with lots of real, physical and visual contact.

urchiken at gmail dot com

Buki Family said...

Kids can do so much to help the planet. I love working in the garden with my son. I think kids can encourge their parents just by asking their parents to go outside more. As a kid, we used to go for walks with my parents and carry trash bags with us to pick up the pop cans on the side of the road. As a kid, we were super excited to recycle these and get a little bit of spare change!

PS said...

I think just nurturing their love for the outdoors will help their compassion and love for nature flourish. My kids love helping me in the garden, watching turtle in the pond, building bat houses. My kids are always keeping me busy outside and they are usually the ones pushing me to help with an outdoor project or go biking with them. This book looks great, thanks for the chance!

jceko77 said...

My daughter and I recycle together.
jceko77@yahoo.com

Melissa said...

I think for kids to help, conserving is the best start. By making sure lights are turned off (even if they didn't turn them on), recycling, etc... it's a start. Also, to get their parents to help, reading books like this with them can help make their parents understand that we need to do more to help our planet. jeepcutie82 at msn dot com

Mary512 said...

I think implementing caring for the earth at an early age is key. Make it a normal everyday thing and it will become a regular practice. If children truly care for the earth, their parents will too. Great giveaway, thanks!

Sandra said...

My five year old grandson is very into the fascination with our earth and how other people live, such as China. We try to bring in facts about other cultures and how we live differently. Taking care of our earth means not littering, planting trees and making our air cleaner. He can relate to all this and I think he will be a better conserving adult because he started young.

Alice H said...

I think watching their parents do positive things - like recycling, gardening, etc - is the best way to start. And then of course have the kids participate in those same activities. Thanks for the giveaway! afdr3d@umkc.edu

Ginny said...

I think that if children start young enough, it will just be a way of life. Being careful with water usage, picking up garbage/no littering, bring bags to the store, recycling, etc.

This book looks great, my kids are pretty good about the environment. The biggest thing I struggle with is getting them to understand about turning off lights, shutting the fridge, etc. A book like this should help some!

mverno said...

knowing we the parents owe them a good clean earth and have the parents help them obtain this

itwasn'tme said...

start them early with conserving energy and recycling

megankortepeter said...

My kids enjoy recycling. It's fun for them to sort all the items into their respective containers. I hope they never lose that.

Anonymous said...

Grow their own food - organically of course. My daughter and I grow herbs and are starting to get some watermelons, too.

louiseb130 said...

We keep our thermostat low in the winter, we hang out our laundry to dry whenever possible, we've driven a Prius since 2002

MooK said...

Let my children know basic ideas of sustainability by reading this kind of books together.

kingoshri said...

I think children can help to : "feed planet earth", by composting the food leftovers they left each day, or just burying them in the ground. The other side of this activity can be helping to buy enviromentally friendly detergents and products in order not to : "poison/harm planet earth". Activities of feeding vs. poisoning, or good food vs. bad food.

Carolsue said...

Teach children from an early age about recycling, helping them grow a garden with their own vegetables, learn to read labels, etc. And soon the children will be reminding the parents and giving them tips!

idahomom said...

Setting a good example. Kids do what you do.

Sharon said...

The best thing is for them not to waste anything..and the 3 R...reduce, reuse, recycle...and the best way to do this...is to do it with adults...go to the recycling center together, make crafts out of 'old' items, go shopping together...each with their own canvas bag...
THANKS
fenway07@msn.com

agordon10 said...

We do a nature hike every wekkend and we pick up litter as we go.

Stacy said...

By planting trees they can watch it grow and take a personal interest in it.
hetz-junk(at)hotmail(dot)com

Lisa said...

Recycle old books, magazines, bottles, cans, newspapers, and school papers.

sweetsue said...

I think that exposing children to nature early with hiking and camping and beach trips will make them interested for life. Showing them what pollution causes (such as a dead fish)will make them want to stop others from polluting.

danosor said...

By teaching children to plant tree's and shrubs,compost and throw their garbage in proper disposal cans or bins we will have a much healthier earth.

hoff said...

Teaching children the simple pleasures of the outdoors will not only make them appreciate the environment but also fight for it. We need more questions asked and then solutions found by our children

bfox74 said...

They can plant trees and the parents can help by teaching them how tress help the environment and helping to pick out the correct tree for their region.

sublimejen said...

I think making kids aware of the need to take care of our earth is most important. Lead by example, not littering, promoting recycling & reusing. We talk about it a lot and my kids remind me when I forget to turn off a light or throw away a jar that could be used as a flower vase. :)
We'd love to read this book!
sublimejen@gmail.com

dcala said...

I think gathering up all the newsapapers etc to bundle up and recycle is an easy way for kids to help out.

pooka1953 said...

Teach children to live simply! Let them KNOW that they are not going to get every new toy they see on TV or in the stores. Teach them to appreciate what they already have. You of course must be an example to them. Teach them not to waste water when bathing, brushing teeth. Have them turn off lights, TVs etc when not in use. And teach them about the plight of children in countries where they have NOTHING so they can learn to appreciate all they have. You know, children in China are starving, so finish your peas!

Donna said...

Teach them to re-cycle whenever possible. To not throw their garbage down, but to take it home and dispose of it properly. To pick up after themseles. Is that too much! Thanks!

Ellie said...

I think we as parents have to incorporate "green" ways of life for our kids from the very beginning. Buy second hand clothes, garage sales, craft and create, REUSE and UP-cycle, create cool new things out of old boring things.

Sandhi said...

When children want to listen some fairy tales or story,its responsibility to their parents to tell something about nature conservation,environment in a story format .it's common that children first learning center is home and parents are their first teachers.
when they become little bit grown up,plant a flower or small fruit plant with them in the lawn or basket.and influence them to monitor at least one time in a day.
I think they enjoy it as they have no serious work at that time.
In my childhood my parents also influence do such type of works.this is my personal experience.

Amy said...

Kids love to have a project that they can control. My kids are in charge of recycling in our house and really do a great job. We also go out on walks and pick up garbage. Making them aware is the key. aewalls425@hotmail.com

Princess Golden Hair said...

i think it's important to give your child a taste of the wonder of nature. Grow a garden or even a flower together. go camping and hiking. get kids to help you when you volunteer cleaning up your local river or park.

Rjs said...

Encourage them to get involved with the outdoors at an early age. Take walks, grow a plant, visit the farmers market. All of these things help "plant the seed" for seeing that life is beyond the Wii!

Brooke said...

Using groceries from local producers is a great way for kids to help the earth. Visiting local farms can really help families get involved too!

blueviolet said...

Compare the earth getting sick with your kids getting sick so they really understand it. Tell them things that we do to be "green" like recycling, etc. helps keep the earth healthy and strong.
doot65{at}comcast[dot]net
Elizabeth

Amy said...

Make it fun but also show them real examples, like dead fish or dolphins that are effected.

The rule in our house is Respect; Respect yourself, each other, and your envronment.

The best way for kids to get parents involved is let parents know its important to them and they want a future.

Erma said...

Setting a good example.
erma.hurtt@sbcglobal.net

madangle said...

i think nature and animals are a great place to start since kids are interested in them. Kids love doing things with adults, you can ask them to help recycle things.

Anonymous said...

Recycle with diligence with a focus as only children can.

theyyyguy@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

I think that children today can teach us. They can see the trash that we piled up and the rivers that they can no longer swim in. Teaching them to get involved and not being afraid to speak up is the best lesson we can teach them.
Kathy
kathleenyohanna@hotmail.com

lilyk said...

Children can learn to be environmentally conscious. The best way for them to convince their parents to join them is show that being environmentally conscious can save money too.

purango said...

Make environmental awareness and conservation a family activity. Get children involved in energy saving and recycling. I think children can get parents involved by sharing their educational projects and environmental news with them. garrettsambo@aol.com

Joy said...

Let them learn by example.

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Danielle H said...

I think a good way for parents and children to help save the earth is to teach each other different techiniques. For example, my family always turns off the lights when leaving any room and keep all of our chargers (cell phones, laptops, etc.) out of the outlets to keep them from sucking lots of energy.

dhaberkorn@aol.com

Anonymous said...

I love to read books of any subjects,please make me win this one! Thanks.
Gliceria
gliceriaong@hotmail.com