New Children’s Book on Changing Climate Anxiety into Climate Action

New Children’s Book on Changing Climate Anxiety into Climate Action

climate
Reading Time: 5 minutes

It’s hard to know how to talk to kids about climate change. Children can’t help but be aware of bad climate news, but parents must also provide comfort and hope for their future. There is reason to be hopeful, and reason to be fearful. Most importantly for kids, the loss of plant and animal life is a deeply felt grief. Kids want to talk about climate change, and they look to their parents to provide wisdom and guidance.

To help parents with these climate conversations, psychiatrists from the Climate Committee of the Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry developed a book, Coco’s Fire: Turning Climate Anxiety into Climate Action, a delightful and exquisitely illustrated story of a young squirrel, freaked by a forest fire that threatens the home of her Aunt Hazel (nut – get it?). Readers from areas of British Columbia affected by last summer’s fires will be all too familiar with these fears.

Coco’s Fire teaches kid-friendly techniques for dealing with climate anxiety and incorporates the features of an ideal climate talk, vetted by experts in eco-anxiety and the psychological development of children. It provides a six-step talk, marked by acorns in the text. Over the course of the story, Coco is also connected to the thriving community of scientists, activists and politicians already working to address the climate crisis. 

Six-Step Talk About Climate Change

  1. Introduce the topic of climate change by finding out what the child already knows.
  2. Explaining the science of climate change simply but completely.
  3. Describe the problem infused with hope, but without sugar coating the ramifications.
  4. Discuss approachable ways to get involved in addressing climate change.
  5. Open the discussion for future conversations.
  6. Conclude by inspiring a sense of wonder in children about the natural world.
New Children's Book on Changing Climate Anxiety into Climate Action - BC Parent Newsmagazine

The psychologically savvy parent will notice a good number of psychotherapy techniques embedded in the story: deep breathing, active listening, mirroring, supportive interpretation, and cognitive reframing. Coco’s Fire is written for children ages 6-10, and is tailored to the concrete operational stage of cognitive development of this audience. To this end, anxiety is personified in the form of a little fire creature that concretely embodies the cognitive reframing process as Coco copes with her anxiety. The little fire changes from “scary red” to a “cool blue” as she transforms  her anxiety into effective activities.

Coco’s Fire is grounded in scientific literature and can help children overwhelmed by climate distress as well as helping to educate children about climate change in a psychologically-informed and sensitive way.

More importantly, Coco’s Fire is a good story, inspired by other environmental classics like The Lorax, by Dr. Seuss. Climate change is serious, but focusing on what we most enjoy and want to protect makes addressing it easier. The natural world is glorious, and our love of it guides us all to do what we must do to transition to more sustainable, and often more enjoyable, ways of being in the world. Reading can connect you to your child, and your child to a hopeful future. 

3 More Children’s books on Climate Change

Greta and the Giants – Inspired by Greta Thunberg’s work to bring awareness to the world’s climate crisis, this vibrant and thoughtful story introduces the importance of consciously taking care of the world around us. Told in allegory, this lovely picture book shares Greta’s message in a way that is easy for even the littlest eyes and ears to understand.

New Children's Book on Changing Climate Anxiety into Climate Action - BC Parent Newsmagazine

The Lorax, by Dr. Seuss – The story is commonly recognized as a fable concerning the danger of human destruction of the natural environment, using the literary element of personification to create relatable characters for industry (as the Once-ler), the environment (being the Truffula trees) and activism (as the Lorax). The story encourages personal care and involvement in making the situation better: “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

New Children's Book on Changing Climate Anxiety into Climate Action - BC Parent Newsmagazine

Fever at the Poles – Provide even the youngest readers information about Earth, the changes in climate and its affects on the poles, and what they can do to help preserve our planet. 

New Children's Book on Changing Climate Anxiety into Climate Action - BC Parent Newsmagazine

Follow:

Trending

playdough

Rainy day activity – yummy, scented playdough!

6 Reasons Your Child Might Need Physiotherapy That Is Commonly Missed

BC Parent NewsMagazine Logo | www.bcparent.ca | BC Parent Logo

A quest for sleep – my sleep training diaries

Happy Child

Want a Happy Child? Here are 10 Scientifically Proven Ways to Raise Kids Who Love Life

healthy eating

Author Azaliya Schulz, releases her new book on Healthy Eating Habits.

Lunar New Year

5 Exciting Ways to Celebrate Lunar New Year This Weekend!

Join our weekly newsletter

Related Posts

Do you love yourself enough?

Three-time award-winning author Shantelle Bisson was born and raised in Toronto and splits her time...

New Children's Book on Changing Climate Anxiety into Climate Action

It’s hard to know how to talk to kids about climate change. Children can’t help but be aware of bad climate news, but parents must also provide comfort and hope for their future. There is reason to be hopeful, and reason to be fearful. Most importantly for kids, the loss of plant and animal life is a deeply felt grief. Kids want to talk about climate change, and they look to their parents to provide wisdom and guidance. Here are some books to help.

Powerful Pairs

Have you ever read about a mother-daughter duo that totally knocks your socks off? I have just come across Powerful Pairs, a book about incredible mothers and daughters that is truly eye-opening. 

Excerpt from The MomBabes: A Motherhood Anthology

It all started with a cup of coffee. Well, actually a box of coffee. Like wine, the box is cool.
As a second time mom, I knew how important it was for me to establish mom friends. My sister Carolyn and I had always imagined we would have children but never imagined we would be on maternity leave at the same time. With a five year gap between my first and second it felt a little like being a “new mom” all over, except I knew from experience that one day I would sleep again.

Scroll to Top

Connect with us

Signup today for the latest parenting tips, contest alerts and local deals.