Book Review – The Story of Climate Change

Title: The Story of Climate Change

Authors: Catherine Barr and Steve Williams

Illustrators: Amy Husband and Mike Love

Age range: Pre-School – Primary School

Type: Non-Fiction Picture Book

We recently borrowed a copy of ‘The Story of Climate Change’ from our local library. It is safe to say that my four year old loves it, and we have read it dozens of times!

The book takes you on a journey starting billions of years ago. It walks you through when plant life began, the changes to the climate through Earth’s history, the creation of coal, oil and gas, the extinction of dinosaurs and the evolution of humans. Once the scene has been set, the book delves into the human causes and impacts of climate change including burning fossil fuels, land clearing and modern agriculture. It also touches on human rights issues such as climate refugees and the impacts of climate change on developing countries. The book finishes on a positive note by discussing ways in which individuals can join the fight against climate change.

As a parent I enjoyed the way the book is constructed. It provides ample detail for a deeper understanding of climate change but is written in an easily digestible way for children. It prompted much discussion and questions from my curious son and has led to us conducting science experiments to see how things work. For example, he was curious about how melting ice leads to the rising sea levels. So we got a bowl with water (the sea), marked the height of the water (sea-level), added ice cubes, and after the ice melted we saw that the ‘sea-level’ had risen. We also used cotton wool to demonstrate how clouds work by adding small amounts of water until the ‘rain started’. 

The book is well researched, and the illustrations are vibrant, aid in understanding of the concepts and add some comedic value, particularly around animals burping methane gas. 

I asked my son if he liked the book and he responded: ‘Yes, because it tells us how to stop the Earth getting hot. I want to plant more trees so we can stop the Earth getting hot.

I highly recommend the book, and although it is pitched at kids, it is also highly informative for adult readers!

Check out Catherine Barr’s website for a range of other great titles!

Let me know if you have any climate change book suggestions for young or adult readers in the comments below.

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