No World Too Big
Lindsay H. Metcalf, editor
Lindsay H. Metcalf is the author of Farmers Unite! Planting a Protest for Fair Prices. She has also been a reporter, editor, and columnist for the Kansas City Star and other news outlets.
Read more about Lindsay.
Keila V. Dawson, editor
Keila V. Dawson has been a community organizer and an early childhood special education teacher. She is the author of The King Cake Baby.
Read more about Keila.
Jeanette Bradley, editor and illustrator
Jeanette Bradley has been an urban planner, an apprentice pastry chef, and the artist-in-residence for a traveling art museum on a train. She is the author and illustrator of Love, Mama.
Read more about Jeanette.
- Coming Soon!
Profiles of 12 young climate activists and three grassroots groups, matched to painted portraits and original poems.
Similar in concept to No Voice Too Small: Fourteen Young Americans Making History (2020), by the same creators, but taking a worldwide perspective, these entries highlight successful initiatives undertaken by school-age children in locales from the Marshall Islands to Ukraine and the Americas. Though Greta Thunberg—flashing her magnificent scowl in Bradley’s digital pastel—is the subject of one of the early entries, the other chosen activists will be mostly unfamiliar to readers. The poems are largely identified as free verse, such as one by Traci Sorell that acrostically spells out the name of Indigenous Brazilian tree planter Artemisa Xakriabá, but include examples of less common forms, too, such as a dokugin (or single-author) renga by David Bowles praising Mexica activist Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, and a Vietnamese-style lục bát by Teresa Robeson commemorating the work of biodiesel-promoting “Grease Police” on Bali. The editors spread prompts for both individual and collective action throughout and add capsule biographies of the poets and descriptions of each kind of poem at the close.
Inspiring examples for fledgling defenders of the environment.
Introducing climate change–combating young people and related actions readers can take, this unusual, quietly forceful book will be a great addition to classroom and public library shelves. It starts with a macro view, with the editors briefly explaining to readers what “nearly all of the world’s countries” agreed to in the Paris Agreement: “to reach climate neutrality—no increase in the greenhouse effect—by 2050.” The book then zooms in on individuals and groups of young people who aren’t waiting for that change. Short prose explanations of their actions are accompanied by poems in various forms that memorably address the same topics. Greta Thunberg is here, but the book also introduces lesser-known activists such as teens from the Marshall Islands who teach their peers to advocate for island-saving progress and Leah Namugerwa, a Ugandan who planted 200 trees on her fifteenth birthday and whose Birthday Trees project helps others follow suit. Digital images portray each person in an artful but realistic style, giving the serious topic a welcome, hopeful air. Closing the work is a helpful guide to the poetry forms used.
School Library Journal
A timely and relevant book highlighting youth activists and youth-led organizations fighting climate change around the world.
Using poetry and art, the authors write about some of the most prominent, but also the lesser known, young people opening the door wider on global activism. The book highlights a variety of activists with a wide range of inventive solutions to climate change issues. Each activist is introduced via poem, and then a short summary about the activist and a practical suggestion for reader involvement follows. The poetry includes many popular forms such as found poetry and free verse, but also lesser-known forms such as sea chantey and dokugin renga, a Japanese form of linked verse. The many poetry types reinforce the belief that different peoples and ideas can work together to effect change. The seeming pencil-and-ink illustrations are digitally produced, but well designed; the activists depicted are easily recognizable. Color elements, such as the constant brown paper–style background, supplement the environmental message. There is a glossary of terms and poetry forms, as well as biographical information for each poet. The publisher pledges to offset the climate footprint of the book’s publication by purchasing United Nations certified emission reduction credits for each copy purchased.
VERDICT A great title to introduce curious readers and budding environmentalists to what youth are doing around the world right now to fight global climate change.
Diverse voices pay tribute to heroic global youth crusading against climate change in this message-driven collection of poetry profiles. Twelve activists and three advocacy groups feature, including Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg, young Ukrainian composting proponents Nikita Shulga and Sofiia-Khrystyna Borysiuk, and a team of Indonesian students working to convert buses to biodiesel. An acrostic highlights the efforts of Brazilian human rights advocate Artemisa Xakriabá “to protest the burning of the Amazon rain forest and the killing of Indigenous water and forest protectors” (“Artemisa/ Believes we are/ Áll responsible for our common home”), while a dansa poem draws attention to Ugandan activist Leah Namugerwa’s Birthday Trees project (“What a triumph it will be/ when she plants that millionth tree”). Biographical information and activist prompts accompany each work alongside Bradley’s chalky digital sketches of the subjects making a difference. The suggestion that no one is too young to fight for change emphatically inspires. Extensive back matter concludes. Ages 5–9.
When reading this book, the reader feels as if they are transported from one point on the globe to the next. Each page includes a poem written by an activist or an activist group, a description of how the they are involved in climate change efforts, and an illustration. There is nothing that links one poem to the next except each poem is about climate change ad how different people around the world are advocating for worldwide climate progress. The illustrations are beautiful and the poems are inspiring, but this is a little dry for a children's book. The book is too difficult for younger children. The words are difficult, and the content is challenging. However, if an older child is looking to find out what they can do to help the planet, this is the book they should read. Each story is inspiring and realistic, and there are tips throughout the book about how kids can get involved.
Page count: 40
10 x 10