“You’ve probably heard about climate change. At least I hope you have – because it’s REALLY IMPORTANT….”
Join the award-winning creator of That Rabbit Belongs to Emily Brown and Mammoth Academy as he tackles the challenging subject of climate change.
Factually authoritative yet conversational in tone and always friendly and accessible, Layton presents his material with confidence, care and insight. The first half of the book introduces key concepts – climate, weather, ecosystems, greenhouse gases – together with the child-character with whom Layton is conversing. Mid-way through the book, following a summary of the global problems facing animals and habitats, is an arresting photo-collage of an ice floe that allows the character to interject. “This isn’t right. I like our planet the way it is. I don’t want climate change to mess it up and harm animals!” Momentum halted, Layton turns our attention to positive change: problems are presented alongside optimistic visions for the future, and plenty of ideas for small-scale achievable action are included.
A Climate in Chaos is heartfelt and takes its material seriously, but Layton’s quirky world-view and irreverent humour is apparent throughout, and it’s the interplay between sincerity and wit that contributes much to its success. Comic panoramas (a Layton speciality) deliver information visually and via entertaining annotations. Cut-aways and diagrams include clearly-written and informative labels, text-boxes are enlivened with spot illustrations, and occasional photographs reinforce the fact that this is real, and happening now. Throughout the book, expressive characters interact with each other and comment on the spreads, which keeps things lively and helps young readers feel involved.
As a topic, climate change can be worrying, but readers of this book are more likely to feel empowered than otherwise. Recommended for Key Stage One, but also has much to offer at Lower Key Stage Two – and Layton’s previous eco-themed picture book, A Planet Full of Plastic, is also available.