CM . . .
. Volume XIV Number 11 . . . . January 25, 2008
Part of the “Environment Action” series, these four books foster an awareness of the importance of nature and everyone’s responsibility to protect Earth’s fragile environment. Each title consists of 13 chapters, a table of contents, a glossary and an index. Fact boxes provide related trivia. The text, which is easy for young readers to comprehend, is printed in a large font, but the majority of the page is taken up by colour photographs. Two minor shortcomings of this series: a few of the photos are a bit dated, and there is not always enough information. For example, in a chapter entitled “Saving water at school” (from Save Water), the author states that there are a lot of ways for students to conserve water, but then only suggests reporting leaks to a teacher or putting a plug in the bathroom sink when washing hands.
Protect Nature describes what nature is and covers topics such as climate change, pollution and the destruction of natural habitats. There is information about endangered animals and the ways in which people can protect them, one idea being the creation of more nature reserves. The book encourages readers to shop for “green” products, to do some research before purchasing a product to make sure that the item does not come from an area whose habitat was destroyed in order to make it, to buy souvenirs that are not made from endangered plant or animal species, and to compost at home and at school.
Recycle discusses the reasons for recycling and the types of materials that can be recycled. Water, air and garbage pollution, the difference between the terms reduce, reuse, and recycle, and the materials that can be made from recycled paper, glass, cans, plastic and textiles are among the other topics.
Save Energy focuses on renewable versus non-renewable resources. Carbon dioxide’s effect on climate change and the problems inherent in that are discussed at an appropriate level. Wind turbines, solar panels and water for energy are becoming increasingly important as fossil fuels are used up. There is also a shift toward the design of more hybrid cars and airplanes that require less fuel. This book provides ideas for saving energy at home, at work and at school, some being turning off the electricity when it’s not in use and buying energy-efficient electronics and appliances.
Finally, Save Water describes the water cycle and water’s being vital to life on Earth. As only a minute amount of the Earth’s water is usable, people must take very good care of it. Topics in the title include acid rain, the differences between surface, ground and ocean water and how water is cleaned and treated. A few ideas for conserving water are given, but there could have been more.
This series might be fairly useful to primary science teachers to spark discussion about conservation in their classrooms.
Gail Hamilton is a teacher-librarian in Winnipeg, MB.
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