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Snowy White World to Save Hardcover – September 28, 2007

4.1 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

From "Points of Light Network", the largest volunteer organization in the world, a wonderful interview with Stephanie Lisa Tara:


1. How did you decide to illustrate the problem of global warming using polar bears in Snowy White World to Save?

I decided on a direct yet gentle approach to inform honestly and respectfully, the metaphor of mother and children comes naturally to me as a mom. As such, I am ever amazed at my daughter's uncanny awareness, children are such smart little sparkly beings. My experience has been that addressing things in truth seems to work in earning their respect. As an author, I like to (write) speak to children on their level and inside a most loving space. I decided to use short lyrical phrasing - 2 poetic beats per line, this gentle cadence and meter softly intuits a quiet truthfulness that seems to resonate on several emotional levels -- " faraway dots are seals on the ice/Mother pounces, once, twice//Mother and cubs run far away, Mothers fierce pride/hot on this day. "

2. Ice caps are melting and glaciers are disappearing. Do you think young children understand what is happening to the Polar Bear's "Snowy White World?" How do you think young readers will react to the polar bear's plight?

I've done many public readings. The amazing response the children have is one of immediate attention, concern and empowerment + hope....traits not always readily forthcoming in adults. Instead of the kids being scared or depressed, I have been overwhelmed by their sheer "let's all fix it" attitude. In large to small reading groups - they all raise their hands and are excited at the prospect of `many small hands together can make a big change'. They call out new ideas to 'lessen the gases' and use smaller amounts of electricity. I have found a serious joyfulness in wanting to help the bears, and be creative in working together and with adults. It's magnificent.

3. The beautiful verses add to the story and compliment the gorgeous watercolor illustrations by Alex Walton. Did you work together with the illustrator to make the story come alive? Do you write all your books in rhyming verse style? Are you also a poet?

Alex and I spoke at various times through out the process, but I must say - the beautiful thing about working with someone who understands how I think is that their artistic expression is symbiotic to mine. That is the magic that manifests with Alex Walton, he read my words and then made them sing without anything more from me than an occasional chat about how we feel about our book. Yes - I use poetic verse to lull, soothe, entertain my little listeners, its a bit of a nod back to an older time when parents and children would spend long hours together reading by firelight. Poetry has a magical ability to be both memorable and pleasing to the ear. I've said that children's verse sticks like taffy to one's thoughts...think back to children's verse you love, it's still stuck in your head, isn't it?

4. The issues of climate change, global warming, disappearing habitats and dwindling food supplies is a big, serious topic for young children. The "birds-eye" view from above of the polar bears on their quest for food is amazing. The search for food ends at a garbage dump. What do you think a young child will take away from the story in regard to this theme?

Children that hear this story have expressed remarkable things, as I've lightly touched upon. They show concern, and a desire to make a change. I have had the occasion where a child has asked: "Why did adults let this happen?" -- a very candid and brilliant question. I love this. It shows deep thinking and awareness. My answers are all mindfully hopeful. People err, people make mistakes. But because we are human we also have the ability to correct our mistakes. This is the truth and it makes sense to kids. Kids are always full of hope. They all want to do all the things we list at the back of the book, and they come up with new ideas to save energy. One little boy said we should create a "polar bear zoo" somewhere in the world - keep it cold and like Noah's Ark - bring all the polar bears of the earth there to live and be saved. Not a dry eye at that library reading! I take away from this comment an overwhelming exuberant feeling, children just never stop believing and hoping and wishing. It's beautiful.

5. The last page of the book gives a hopeful message and some good ideas how everyone can start to fight global warming. What additional ideas would you pass on to families to save the Polar Bears "Snowy White World" -- and their own?

Great folks like you really encapsulate it all, working together to make a change in the world. Kids do care - they know they will inherit the earth. Mother Nature loves her children and I do believe we can reverse the damage. There are many other wonderful people that have written books. lAl Gore recently published a kids' version of Inconvenient Truth . Lori David's Down to Earth Guide to Global Warming is another good book. I simplified what small kids can do, but the list is very long and topping it is learning, awareness, and knowledge. So many good folks -- famous people like Sharon Stone, the actress/activist, have gotten behind this cause along with the United Nations. Getting involved, reading, joining groups like Kids Care Clubs and other organizations such as the National Resource Defense Council (NRDC) or Climate Crisis will keep you informed about new ways to continue to make a difference.

From the Author

"What is global warming, Mama?" asked my five year old one day in 2006, "the bears, the polar bears, are they in trouble?" I was stunned. How does a parent answer such a question? I did the best I could. Al Gore's wonderful film and book, 'An Inconvenient Truth' had come out, and all the world was talking about this topic. "Yes, humans need to be more responsible," I said to my child, "we need to care about all creatures on the planet, humans and animals." The amazing thing about children is their ability to understand such concepts instantly and utterly. Maddie jumped up, eyes wide and heart open, and said, "yes, what can I do!" As do all the children I read this story to, at schools, museums and aquariums across the nation. The causes of global warming can be debated by the powers that be, but I do believe as parents we can make our kids gently aware of these truths, these issues that they themselves hear about every day, and we can empower them with hope as the next generation that can make a difference. Snowy White World to Save is such an attempt, mother bear and her cubs tell the story of the present day Arctic across panorama watercolor paintings. A "Help the Bears" page at the ends lists all we can do to help. Endorsed with a message from actress/activist Sharon Stone. With love, Stephanie Lisa Tara

Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 and up
  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Brown Books Publishing Group; 1st edition (September 28, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933285893
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933285894
  • Product Dimensions: 11.9 x 13.2 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,083,608 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Stephanie Lisa Tara Children's Books®

I founded a publishing company that does things a little differently; we empower kids to care about the planet, themselves and each other. Planet-citizens, ages 0 & up. Our books, blogs, and charities stretch across the globe, books sales of over a million, active blog members at almost 150,000. Our creed is: activism: inspiring the next generation to make the world a better place.

PRESERVE. CONSERVE. INSPIRE. TEACH. We've only one planet to save.

Who am I? --I'm a person who has always believed in magic. As a child, I remember people being terribly curious about my bright red hair (which was very, very bright indeed.) Kids sometimes asked if it made me feel different, magical. I used to think about this quite a bit. I've lived in lots of places, on a real farm, and in a big city high rise, on a tropical beach, and in the beautiful country of France. Now I live in northern California, between redwood trees and the sea. I've read such nice words about my books - like: fun, engaging, delightful. Some folks have said I deliver timeless messages of love that kids and parents share again and again. This really makes me very happy. I hope you enjoy my books, and that my rhymes stick in your head like gooey taffy. I truly believe in my work - in "captivating children with poetry", as celebrated in the New York Times Book Review, Fall 2006. And, I live my life with this in mind, always.

~Love, Stephanie Lisa Tara
Author, Activist, Mom

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Again Stephanie Lisa Tara's beautiful poetic voice shines through in this tale of a Mama polar Bear and her cubs as they suffer the effects of global warming and decreased food supply. The tone of this book is completely different from the cool, relaxing tone of I'll Follow the Moon. It's a bit more rough and tumble as then increasingly chaotic as the cubs grow, as they and mama bear hunt seal,s and then as they seek refuge from the melting ice and food shortages.

This book even moreso than the first I read, brings home to little ones the devestating effect that we humans are having on our planet and how it is impacting other creatures. I worry a little that the open ended nature of this one might be a little too disturbing for small children though and wish that we could have learned of the plight but at least seen a temporary resolution for this polar bear family...

On the whole though, I think it is a great introduction to the issue for children and verse that flows perfectly among illustrations that capture the book's tone perfectly.

Again the book ends with some great resources and activities to keep little ones inspired.

NOTE: Book received in exchange for an honest review
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Format: Hardcover
Reviewed by Diane Snyder

Snowy White World to Save addresses the issue of global warming and the affects on one bear family as their world of ice and snow begins to melt.

In a simple rhyme, the story of a typical day in the polar bear family's life is told but the beauty of their world disappears as the ice melts and food is no longer available. The bears are forced to seek out garbage dumps for things to eat.

This is a beautifully illustrated 10×13 inch book in cool whites, grays and blue colors that projects the pristine world of the Arctic animals. However, the plight of the bear and her cubs are illustrated in a sad and jarring contrast of browns and reds as they forage for food in the human settlement.

If you are a responsible parent interested in the environment, ecology and the future of the earth and if you are trying to instill that interest and responsibility in your children, this is a book that will help. There is a section in the book that gives children a list of the things they can do to help keep our planet healthy and some web site sources for the adults to explore. What a wonderful and gentle way to introduce to our children their responsibility to the earth and its environment.

Stephanie Lisa Tara has garnered literary praise for her previous children's books, and I feel certain Snowy White World to Save will also receive the attention it deserves.

Armchair Interviews says: A children's introduction to global warming.
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Format: Hardcover
Doesn't frighten kids but really great at telling very young kids the story of the desperate Polar Bear mother and cubs to find food and their changing world. Also has a page that lets kids be pro-active by just doing small things they can control. The illustration is beautiful and it's a good size book. Great gift for kids and for teachers, Pre-k and Kindergardeners, to help spread the global warming awareness.
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Format: Paperback
Again, this is a beautifully illustrated picture book, with a mother Polar Bear and her two cubs. At first it seems to be a book again about a mother and her children and it is, but it's something more. It brings to light the consequences of global warming and where it's hitting hardest- the animals and oceans. The polar bear mother and her cubs have to travel so far to find food they get exhausted until all they can find is trash. Then people yell and throw things at them to scare them away. And hungry, they have to travel again. It would leave a child sad, except the final words of the book "Across the land of the midnight sun, the ice is melting ....oh what can be done?" Then further down it says ( well lots can be done... just turn the page) And on the next page are suggestions for things even a five year old can do to conserve electricity, recycle, reuse.

The illustrations in the books are again blues and greens and whites while the story is telling about how life is normally for polar bears. But when they have to swim a long time, the water turns gray, the land is brown, the trash is jolting in color. Even if a child just paged through without hearing the words, they would be able to pick up that something is wrong. The words rhyme in a straight forward way which is as it should be with this sort of book. I think it's a great way to start educating your children about conservation and explain why you tell them for the 129th time to "Turn off the t.v. if you're not watching it!"
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book because of the cover. My daughter loves animals and they were doing "P" in school, so polar bears! Beautiful does not cover the illustrations in this book. They are pure artwork. The colors portray the tone on the pages and accent the story beautifully.

The story itself is heartbreaking from the viewpoint of an adult, but very simple and understated for children. They was one point in my initial viewing that I was a little concerned: The polar bear hunting seals. It turned out to be fine because the true action that the bear was doing was not emphasized and nothing of the brutality of the action was truly shown.

The bears later being shown trying to eat garbage in order to get food gives a good indication of the plight they are in.

I also loved the last page in the book offering simple ideas on how we can all save energy. They are good, easy ideas for young children to understand and look at how they, too, can help.

Excellent book. I even took it to my daughter's school so her class could read it and they loved it. My daughter later told me how we "need to remember to shut of the light when we leave a room." Good endorsement right there.
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