No World Too Big: Young People Fighting Global Climate Change
No World Too Big is a colorful compendium of compelling stories about 24 brave young people who have each done something extraordinary to raise awareness of climate change and other environmental issues, and to catalyze important changes in their community, in their country, and, in some cases, the whole world.
Each example is beautifully and evocatively illustrated, and each is preceded by a short poem. While the illustrations hit the bullseye, the poems seem to fall short of the target. For the intended audience of five to nine year olds, a captivating verse could be what triggers their imagination and keeps playing though their conscience. Alas, it is hard to see that happening with many of the poems in this volume.
For example: “I want to swim / In the pool of my own skin / expand the volume of this body / beyond its capacity,” or “Nikita knew that buried / food, boxed in from oxygen / decayed into methane, / a climate-change cousin / twenty times stronger / than carbon dioxide.” More likely, the second graders will be yawning and fidgeting (or reaching for their phones!) and wondering when we’re going to get to the point. The poems could have been fun and melodic, with interesting rhymes and memorable phrases. Instead, they can be a struggle to get through, and most are easily forgotten.
That said, the stories showcased and the issues discussed are all relevant to our world and the science is generally accurate. The book includes strong calls to action with every story, and some young (or older) readers may be inspired into doing something courageous and amazing—or even just ordinary—to get their peers, their family, or their community motivated into making some important changes. For that reason, No World Too Big should be in the library of your local elementary school.