Two intrepid librarians

Two intrepid librarians review the best nonfiction books for children

Monday, March 27, 2023

Emperor Of The Ice: How a Changing Climate Affects a Penguin Colony by Nicola Davies

Emperor of the Ice: How a Changing Climate Affects a Penguin Colony
By Nicola Davies; 
Illustrated by Catherine Rayner
Candlewick Press. 2023

Because of our dependence on fossil fuels - coal, oil, and gas, our climate is changing. Oceans are warming, glacier ice is melting, and winds are stronger. Storms are fierce. Davies, a  zoologist and award winning author of many science books for children, turns her attention to the Emperor Penguin.

As the northern hemisphere start enjoying the beginnings of spring, in the Southern Hemisphere, April means fall. 

"Most animals are heading north to avoid the coming winter and the ring of frozen ocean that grows with every passing day."

Not the Emperor Penguin. They need the cold sea ice to have their babies. 

Since Emperor Penguins breed in remote areas, on ice that form in the ocean, and at the coldest time of the year, the only way to observe them is by satellites. 

Catherine Rayner's mixed media illustrations cover every page. They show the penguins life cycle. Readers will feel the cold as they watch the male penguin huddled, hungry, protecting the egg while the female is off hunting for fish. She needs to be well-fed in order to feed her baby.

The tone is a mixture of joyous and sobering as the impact climate change is having on our weather and how this negatively impacts this population. 

Davies includes short paragraphs that explains how climate change is impacting the Emperor Penguin, defines What Is Climate Change, and suggestions on what people can do to help.

A valuable informational picture book. Perfect for STEM displays or a read aloud for Earth Day. 

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