I was recently sent a copy of the lovely Elliot’s Arctic Surprise (by Catherine Barr and Francesca Chessa).
The book is right up my street in many ways, but mostly as it helps to get across an important conservation message in a lovely gentle way, aided by some bright and colourful illustrations which are sure to appeal to children.
The author, Catherine Barr, worked at Greenpeace for many years and her interest and passion for environmental issues is clear in this book, which has been launched alongside Greenpeace’s Arctic Campaign.
The book itself follows Elliot who discovers a message from Father Christmas asking for help to save his home. Elliot sets sail with an old sailor and some more children from around the world to confront the oil drillers in a bid to save Christmas.
The environmental issues are gently explored and offer a sound base for building upon with older children to understand the effects of drilling in the arctic. The illustrations really captured my own children’s imaginations and Mr D in particular told me all of the things he could see in the images. I did begin some tentative conversations about the impact of the drilling, but my own children are just a little bit too young to understand it, just yet.
This is a lovely book to look at together in the lead up to Christmas itself, and for us it formed part of our weather and seasons reading during September.