Coastal Care Junior

Twelve New Kids’ Beach Reads to Inspire Action and Adventure – Hakai Institute

Illustration from Dear Polar Bear by Gabrielle Prendergast, Illustrations by Marcus Cutler, courtesy of Orca Book Publishers.
Illustration from Dear Polar Bear by Gabrielle Prendergast, Illustrations by Marcus Cutler, courtesy of Orca Book Publishers.

Young readers can become archaeologists, seaweed harvesters, and Arctic explorers, all through the pages of books.

Wildfires have recently been a hot topic of conversation among the 12- and 13-year-old girls on my daughter’s softball team. That’s because an ongoing blaze on Vancouver Island, where we live and where Hakai Magazine is based, has closed the only highway to their end-of-season tournament and filled the air with smoke that’s not conducive to running the bases. As an assistant coach, I get to be part of the lively discussions in the stretching circle.

“Do you know what causes wildfires?” I ask the team as we do arm circles.

“Stupid people,” one girl says.

“Climate change,” adds another.

Yes (although let’s not call people names) and yes.

In British Columbia, about 60 percent of wildfires are caused by lighting, while 40 percent are due to human activity.

Climate change increases the risk of wildfires by making “fire weather”—hot and dry conditions—more common. And as regular Hakai Magazine readers know, wildfires can affect the oceans, from cooking fish to altering the chemical composition of the Arctic, as well as the land and air.

As we await word on the fire, the highway, and the tournament, I worry that beneath the immediate anxiety over whether they’ll get to play in the tournament, some of the girls may also be experiencing climate anxiety.

One of the best antidotes to climate anxiety is climate action, and there are plenty of places to look for inspiration—including within the pages of several of this season’s new kids’ beach reads. If the tournament’s a go, I’ll be bringing them with me for the ride…

Butterfly Wings: A Hopeful Story About Climate Anxiety
Text by Samuel Larochelle
Illustrations by Eve Patenaude
104 pp. Greystone Books

Big Sharks, Small World
Text by Mark Leiren-Young
20 pp. Orca Book Publishers

Sharks Forever: The Mystery and History of the Planet’s Perfect Predator
Text by Mark Leiren-Young
112 pp. Orca Book Publishers

Billie and Bean at the Beach
Text and illustrations by Julia Hansson
Translated by B. J. Woodstein
32 pp. Orca Book Publishers

Dear Polar Bears
Text by Gabrielle Prendergast
Illustrations by Marcus Cutler
32 pp. Orca Book Publishers

Emperor of the Ice: How a Changing Climate Affects a Penguin Colony
Text by Nicola Davies
Illustrations by Catherine Rayner
32 pp. Candlewick Press

Sora’s Seashells: A Name Is a Gift to Be Treasured
Text by Helena Ku Rhee
Illustrations by Ji-Hyuk Kim with Stella Lim
40 pp. Candlewick Press

It’s Time for Berries!
Text by Ceporah Mearns and Jeremy Debicki
Illustrations by Tindur Peturs
24 pp. Inhabit Books

Text by Adèle Tariel
Illustrations by Jérôme Peyrat
32 pp. Orca Book Publishers

Dig Deep: Connecting Archaeology, Oceans and Us
Text by Nicole F. Smith
48 pp. Orca Book Publishers

The Science and Superpowers of Seaweed: A Guide for Kids
Text by Amanda Swinimer
168 pp. Harbour Publishing

Mission: Arctic: A Scientific Adventure to a Changing North Pole
Text by Katharina Weiss-Tuider
Illustrations by Christian Schneider
Translated by Shelley Tanaka
128 pp. Greystone


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