Gas Trees and Car Turds: A Kids' Guide to the Roots of Global Warming

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This colorfully illustrated book makes carbon dioxide, an invisible odorless gas responsible for global warming and plant growth, into something that can be imagined and understood by children.
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Overview


This colorfully illustrated book makes carbon dioxide, an invisible odorless gas responsible for global warming and plant growth, into something that can be imagined and understood by children.
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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Jacquie Skurla
Kirk Johnson, chief curator of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, collaborated with the naturalist Mary Ann Bonnell in creating a rather unique characterization to explain the role carbon dioxide plays in global warming. See-oh-too (CO2) is an anthropomorphic molecule that interacts with plants and sea life and generally creates havoc with the earth's atmosphere, ultimately trapping the earth's heat and warming the planet Earth. The scientific explanation is sound and well-researched. There are, however, several problems with the text and illustrations that might limit the usefulness of this book in the classroom. See-oh-too is created as a smiling, bike-riding little guy one could easily see being marked as a cute cuddly toy. He "loses his oxygen shoes" during photosynthesis but is shown with those shoes in place riding that bike. It is not evident from the text's beginning and, with continued reading, difficult to decide if he is a good molecule or a problem molecule with that smiley face and joyful body expressions. Losing oxygen shoes is not an easy idea to grasp, and unfortunately the authors assume it is. The phrase "Car Turds," featured prominently in the book's title, is, in actuality, a fantasy put forth by the authors to explain a "what if" story when discussing CO2 as an emission created by the burning of gasoline by vehicles. Big chunks of carbon do not fall from car exhaust pipes in the real world. Children may find that a funny term, though. The book's value is found on the last three pages. The authors outline eight practical ways children can help reduce the amount of CO2 being released daily into the earth's atmosphere. The glossary defines scientific terms in aneasy to understand way. Reviewer: Jacquie Skurla
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781555916664
  • Publisher: Fulcrum Publishing
  • Publication date: 8/23/2007
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 8 years
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author


Kirk R. Johnson is vice president and chief curator at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. He received his PhD in geology and paleobotany from Yale University in 1989, and did postdoctoral research in the rainforests of northern Australia before coming to Denver in 1991, where he directed the installation of the museum's Prehistoric Journey exhibit. Mary Ann Bonnell is the lead naturalist for the Parks and Open Space Department in Aurora, Colorado. Bonnell earned her degree in environmental, population, and organismic biology from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1991. For the last 19 years, she has used art, science, and enthusiasm to connect people of all ages to the natural world.
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