A neat idea for broaching the subject of environmental protection with the younger crowd, the book hints about the consequences of glacial melting for each animal in a light, chatty tone rather than hammering kids over the head with gloom-and-doom facts. The story concludes with Mountain Monarch lamenting the fact that the animals number too few to make a difference, and Peter Pika asks, “Then who?” Turn the page, and the answer to that question awaits readers via several spreads of useful information about glacial melting and environmental protection. The book serves a great purpose in a largely successful way.
- Alyson Low, Fayetteville Public Library, AR
Presented more as a cautionary tale about habitat loss from the animals' point of view than a scientific book, young readers will nevertheless gain an appreciation of mountain animals and ecology. Pika feels a drop of water on his head and decides to warn his other mountain friens that the glaciers are melting. Each anthropomorphized animal joins the group as they troop up the mountian to ask the "Mountain Monarch" what they should do. The cumulative and repetitive text insures success for young independent readers. Useful for science class, this story would also lend itself easily to readers' theater. Arbordale has supplied ample scientific information with more activities on their website. Although no scientific information is presented in teh body of the story, it is a great springboard for ecological discussions in the early grades.
- Melinda Elzinga, Librarian, Boulder CO
Donna Love’s The Glaciers Are Melting! is an appealing story for the very young. In it, we follow a number of arctic creatures as they realize that the glaciers are indeed melting and their livelihood is in question. The book does present a good introductory look at the arctic wildlife that is being most affected by global warming, and it will remind you of the story of Henny Penny as you accompany a pika, ptarmigan, a squirrel, a marmot, and a hare as they try to find the “Mountain Monarch” (a mountain sheep). Beautiful illustrations accompany the simple text. Only the wolverine seems unconcerned about the state of the climate; he is more interested in luring the animals into his den. The Mountain Monarch cannot give the animals an answer to what they can do, and the tale ends very abruptly with “Then who?” (p. 25). Without guidance to answer that question, the story is rather meaningless. Used in the classroom with the activities included in the back of the book, the story may provide some good discussions from which students can draw conclusions. However, the text of the story is on a much more elementary level than the accompanying activities. Although the book is suitable in general for preschoolers through students in grade 4, the older children may be bored with the story, but very interested in the activities, which give them further background on the arctic animals and on some of the detrimental effects of global warming. This would be a good resource for reading aloud to the very young or for silent reading for older readers, but discussion would be a necessary follow-up. --Ellen McCabe, Memorial Library, SUNY Cortland, Cortland, NY
"The Glaciers Are Melting!" is an illustrated animal-nature tale for children age 4-9 with serious, real implications. Told by creatures who live in glacial areas such as Peter Pika, Tammy Ptarmigan, Sally Squirrel, Mandy Marmot, Harry Hare, and the Mountain Monarch, a fine, bighorn sheep, the plot of "The Glaciers Are Melting!" thickens and reaches a crisis when the Mountain Monarch tells the animals there are too few of them, so there is nothing they can do. So Peter Pika asked, "Then who?" This leads directly into the educational section of the book, with facts about the rate of glaciers melting, a true/false glacier quiz, animal matching activity, Alpine and Arctic animal adaptations, and food for thought. "The Glaciers Are Melting!" is an excellent teaching tool for elementary students learning about global warming and climate change.
This book doesn't mention global warming, but the animals tell the Earth's story in a potent way. Many animals, such as the pika, the white tailed ptarmigan, the marmot, and the snowshoe hare, depend on the glaciers.
Children will enjoy reading or hearing about these different animals that live in alpine and arctic climates where glaciers are found. There are six pages of learning activities, including further information regarding glaciers, true and false questions on glaciers around the world, matching activities concerning the animals and their adaptations, and some suggestions for what we can do to help slow down climate change. Anyone familiar with the news knows that what scientists think on this subject is the source of huge debate, but any book which introduces the subject to children and draws them into the debate is welcome.
My Southern California second graders and I enjoyed this book as we do all of Arbordale books. It was somewhat hard for them to relate to since they have little to no experience with cold weather, ice, or glaciers. Nevertheless, it presented great teaching opportunities. The illustrations were colorful and realistic. Illustrations are always one of the most important aspects of a children’s book (especially non-fiction). While reading the children picked up the “Chicken Little” resemblance of the story. I knew it was familiar, but they nailed the title of Chicken Little. This aspect made the story more engaging for the children. It also made it fun to read. The Accelerated Reading level of this book is 3.6, and the interest level is ages 4-9. We have yet to find a Arbordale book we dislike!
I am sure that every family could benefit from the discussion this book would inspire.
I think this is a great book for kids who don't realize that the glaciers are in trouble and we can all do something to help find a solution.
Logan, Age 9
In The Glaciers are Melting!, uncommon animals are introduced and there's a repetitive narrative. The end of the story may leave children hanging, wanting a happy ending. In the 'Creative Minds' section at the back of the book, there's true and false questions, an animal matching activity, information about glaciers, information about what you can do to slow down the climate change.
This charming, but alarming tale of alpine animals who may lose their habitat as the glaciers begin to melt is an excellent way for the young student to learn about global warming and its effect on Earth’s wildlife.
Donna Love cleverly uses the Chicken Little story framework to bring to the surface a genuine environmental threat. After the Mountain Monarch reveals to the animals they cannot do anything to stop the glaciers from melting, Peter Pika delivers the final question: “But who?” Parents and teachers can use it as an opportunity to discuss ways humans can make more responsible choices, such as recycling, carpooling, and turning unnecessary lights off. The striking pictures (which I can't help but keep looking at over and over again) by Shennen Bersani illustrate the arctic habitat and the creatures who live there—many of which are not familiar animals to young children. Using the resources provided by Arbordale as well as Internet and library ones, children can research with their parents and learn more about these threatened animals and their habitat. As you read together, discuss the alliteration in all the names (same beginning sound). Brainstorm other words or find ones in the book with the same beginning sound. Use a Venn Diagram to compare/contrast Chicken Little to The Glaciers are Melting! Children can also participate in choral reading as key phrases are repeated in the text. The appealing characters, vivid pictures, and familiar framework make this book ideal for children ages 3-9.