SALISBURY, MD---A fearless polar bear unites other bears to save their melting Arctic habitat. A young girl embarks on a mystical mission in the name of environmental protection and world peace. An Academy Award-winning producer provides tips to combat global warming.
All three are books honored during the 2008 Green Earth Book Awards at Salisbury University--the nation’s first prize for environmental stewardship in children’s literature. The ceremony takes place during SU’s annual Children’s Literature Festival at 7 p.m., Wednesday, April 2, in the Wicomico Room of the Guerrieri University Center.
Each year, SU partners with the Newton Marasco Foundation, an environmental organization in McLean, VA, to highlight books that encourage environmental stewardship among children and youth. The national awards honor books that not only raise awareness of environmental issues, but also instill a sense of responsibility for nurturing, protecting and defending the earth. This year, some 75 titles were nominated in three categories. Winners are:
• Winston of Churchill: One Bear's Battle Against Global Warming, written by Jean Davies Okimoto and illustrated by Jeremiah Trammell (Sasquatch Books) for children’s fiction;
• The Light-Bearer’s Daughter, by O. R. Melling (Harry N. Abrams, Inc./Abrams Books for Young Readers) for young adult fiction; and
• The Down-to-Earth Guide to Global Warming, written by Laurie David and Cambria Gordon (Scholastic, Inc.) for nonfiction.
“Whether through beautiful storytelling, simple tips or fun illustrations, each of these books inspires young readers to play an important role in caring for the environment,” said Mary Alex, president of the Newton Marasco Foundation. “Parents and educators will find a wealth of wisdom in these books, imparting important lessons to youth in an engaging way.”
In Winston of Churchill: One Bear's Battle Against Global Warming, a polar bear named Winston notices that his icy home of Churchill, Manitoba, the polar bear capital of the world, is slowly melting. He explains to other bears why the ice is melting and then, using the stirring words of his famous namesake, rallies them to convince humans to save their Arctic home.
The Light-Bearer’s Daughter tells the story of Dana who embarks on a fantasy-filled journey through Ireland and meets such wonders as a talking wolf and a saint who tames monsters. Vivid fantasy scenes balance and support the tale’s calls for environmental protection and peace.
The Down-to-Earth Guide to Global Warming provides essential facts, photos, illustrations and suggestions to help kids combat global warming in their homes, schools and communities. Co-author Laurie David is the Academy Award-winning producer of An Inconvenient Truth.
Since 2005, the Newton Marasco Foundation has honored nine “Green Earth” books.
The 2008 Green Earth Book Awards are supported by SU, Constellation Energy and Pepsi Bottling Ventures of Delmarva. The ceremony is preceded by an environmental community fair at 5:30 p.m. and followed by a book signing and reception. A breakfast reception with the authors is 10 a.m. Thursday, April 3, at Poplar Hill Mansion, 117 Elizabeth St., Salisbury. All events are free and the public is invited. For more information call 410-543-6030. Or visit the SU Web site at www.salisbury.edu and the Newton Marasco Web site at www.newtonmarascofoundation.org.