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A Warmer World: From Polar Bears to Butterflies, How Climate Change Affects Wildlife

Over the past several decades, our world has been warming at a faster rate than ever before. Winters are shorter. Sea levels have risen. Territories of predators and prey have shifted. To survive in this new environment, animals everywhere have had to adapt, or face extinction. Complemented by Jamie Hogan's rich collage illustrations, A Warmer World offers young readers a clear-eyed look at the effects of climate change on animals around the world.

Go to this WEBSITE to learn more about the book and see some of Jamie Hogan's beautiful illustrations.

For a short VIDEO go to A Warmer World video.

For BLOG POSTS about A Warmer World go to my blog Caroline Arnold Art and Books and click on "A Warmer World" in the list of labels.

For insight into what's BEHIND THE STORY of this book go to Behind the Story at this website.

A Warmer World has been translated into Korean (BIR/MINUMSA Publishing Group, Korea).

Common Core Curriculum Links
  • Language Arts: genre--non-fiction informational text; new scientific vocabulary, comprehension strategy, cause and effect relationships
  • Science: Life science--animals and their environment, survival, adaptation, extinction. Environmental issues--global warming/climate change over time, pollution

  • New Generation Science Standards
  • 3-LS4-2. Use evidence to construct an explanation for how the variations in characteristics among individuals of the same species may provide advantages in surviving, finding mates, and reproducing.
  • 4-LS1-1. Construct an argument that plants and animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction.
  • 5-ESS2-1. Develop a model using an example to describe ways the geosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and/or atmosphere interact.

  • Prizes and Awards
  • Bank Street College Best Children's Books of the Year.
  • Junior Library Guild selection for 2012.
  • NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Book
  • Editors' Choice, Library Media Connection, 2012-2013
  • California Readers California Collection,Elementary and Middle School, 2014
  • Children's Projects

      Icebergs and Sea Level

      Do you think melting icebergs raise the sea level? Do this experiment and find out.

      You will need: a glass bowl, water, ruler, ice cubes

      1. Pour water into the bowl until it is about half full. Use the ruler to measure the height of the water.

      2. Add the ice cubes. Measure the water level again. How much did it rise? Each ice cube is like a tiny iceberg.

      3. Set the bowl in a warm place until all the ice is melted. Measure the water level again. What happened? (Remember that water increases in volume when it freezes.)

    Related Books by Caroline Arnold
  • A Penguin's World
  • A Polar Bear's World
  • A Walrus' World
  • Global Warming and the Dinosaurs
  • Reviews
    Publisher's Weekly, January 9, 2012

    Arnold explores global warming by focusing on how it directly affects several species and their habitats. Some animals, like Edith's checkerspot butterfly, are forced to migrate north because temperatures in southern areas have become too warm for the plants that they require for survival. Polar bears have less time to hunt as a result of earlier spring melts, and walruses are left with fewer and fewer floating ice chunks to use as "platforms" while at sea. Hogan handsomely portrays the animals using charcoal pencil and pastel. Arnold doesn't sugarcoat the potential effects of climate change, plainly stating that the "loss in biodiversity could be devastating." Ages 7 to 10.

    Booklist, February 2012

    With clear explanations and bright, handsome collage artwork, this picture book packs in a lot about the effects of global warming on particular animals and the connections between them. Even small changes in temperature can produce big changes in animals' chances for survival, and up to one million species could be threatened with extinction as the planet heats up. As global temperatures rise, the warmer water is destroying coral reefs and many coral species are becoming extinct, while creatures at the highest zones have nowhere to go to find cooler places. Many yellow-bellied marmots, for example, have starved because they hibernate less in a warmer climate and cannot find the plants they normally eat. At the same time, some creatures do benefit because they can move to habitats that were previously too cold. The visual details bring the concepts close, from images of a butterfly in flight or the final view of an arctic fox with a factory belching black smoke in the background. A glossary and suggested resources conclude. Hazel Rochman

    NSTA Reviews, March 2012

    Caroline Arnold's book is ideal for young readers learning about climate change for the first time. The book is filled with concrete examples of the effects of climate on familiar animals and habitats. It is filled with information about foxes, pocket mice, polar bears, walruses, penguins, krill, coral reefs, fish, and others. This book describes how our world is warming. The changes affect food chains, shifting populations of predators and prey. As animals are forced from their normal habitats, they are adapting to these new habitats or facing extinction. These concrete examples make this complex topic more accessible to this grade level. This is a thought?provoking book with extremely rich illustrations. I would recommend this book to the young reader. In addition to the beautifully colored pages, a glossary is included along with a few websites and books that contain additional information for those interested. This book would make a great addition to the elementary teachers library. Grades 2-5. Lori Cirucci

    The Nonfiction Detectives, April 2, 2012

    Happy April, the month that is full of new beginnings. This is the month when we really notice the Earth awaking from her long winter sleep. Buds swell on the trees, grass turns green, birds return, and days continue to get longer. Here in Maine we refer to this time of year as Mud Season. As peoples attention turns towards the outdoors, we are reminded that April is also when we celebrate Earth Day (April 22) and Arbor Day (April 27) An important time to teach students why it is important to care for our earth.

    In A Warmer World: From Polar Bears to Butterflies, prolific science writer Caroline Arnold explains how climate change affects wildlife. The book's design and language makes it appealing to elementary school readers, grades 1-5. The author does a great job explaining some complicated ideas. For example, the difference between climate and weather, "climate is what you expect [for example, a wet spring) and weather is what you get (for example, a thunderstorm).

    Many animals are listed: Foxes, Edith's Checkerspot Butterfly, Squirrels and Mice, Polar Bears, Walruses, Penguins, Krill, Yellow-Bellied Marmot, Coral Reefs, Fish, and Loggerhead Turtles. Carefully, Arnold explains the damaging impact Global Warming is having on their existence. Scientists have said that with warmer temperatures animals and insects are expanding their range. We see that with the Red Fox whose habitat is that of forests and brushland are moving farther north, into the once treeless Arctic where trees and brush now grow. It may seem okay, but what about the small Arctic fox who thrive only in some of the coldest places on Earth? They must now compete with the Red fox for available food. We all have heard how the warming trend is melting the polar ice caps, which is having a devastating affect on Polar Bears. The other animal that is affected are walruses. The walruses use the sea ice “as a resting platform, pulling themselves up with their long tusks. Pups wait on the ice while their mothers dive for food. As more sea ice melts, these "islands" become fewer and father from shore, and there are no platforms in shallow water for mother and their pups. The pups often become separated from their mothers. They cannot survive on their own.” Arnold doesn't shield her audience from the harsh reality. She successfully presents this complex information in words they can understand without being too depressing.

    Partnering with Arnold is Maine artist, Jamie Hogan who uses charcoal pencil and pastel on sanded paper with elements of collage, paper, and tags creating illustrations that are rich in color and well researched. Her beautiful drawings fill every inch of the two-page spreads and mirrors Arnold's text. At first I wondered why Arnold didn't use actual photos, but now I believe Hogan's illustrations keep the book from becoming too upsetting for its target audience. Plus, she is a gifted artist. Her animals, insects, and reptiles seem to be looking right at readers, as if encouraging (challenging) us to pay attention and do what we can to stop Global Warming. Because we do not have permission from publishers to show more than just the book jacket, go here to see the inside pages: The book includes a glossary, along with a listing of web sites and books for further reading. This book is a fine addition for all libraries. Include it in a variety of displays , especially for Earth Day, Arbor Day, Global Warming, Gardening, or Endangered Animals. Cathy Potter, School Librarian and Louise Capizzo, Youth Services Librarian

    Kirkus, January 2012

    That global warming is occurring faster than ever is certainly bad news. The facts are laid out in clear, easy-to-understand prose as climatic changes affecting various forms of wildlife, including polar bears, butterflies, walruses and penguins, are described on pages that look as if they were torn out of writing tablets. Readers learn that in many cases, living creatures, including some plants, have adapted to the phenomenon. In some instances, however, environmental changes have occurred so rapidly--and will continue to do so--that many plants and animals won't have time to adjust to their new environments, and the results could be devastating. (glossary, bibliography) (Nonfiction. 8-11)

    Library Media Connection, Nov/Dec 2012

    This book investigates the effects of global warming and the devastation it leaves behind. Muted acrylics depict animals in their habitats and provide a model for grasping the true concept of a world trying to keep up with climage changes and, ultimately, the disappearance of many animal species. The final page poses a gripping thought, "....[Our world] is warming so quickly that scientists worry plants and animals will not have time to adapt." Content is comprehensive and requires an advanced reader, however, the information provided is engaging and is accompanied by factual scientific accounts. Young readers who are concerned about their environment will certainly want to read this book. (Gigi Long, Library Media Specialist, Lee County School District, Jonesville, Virginia)

    Green Teacher, Winter 2012-2013

    In A Warmer World, author Caroline Arnold presents a brief straightforward, easy-to-read explnation of global warming, particularly its effects on living things, to students in Grades 4 o 6. As our climate gets warmer, what happens to creatures at the bottom of a mountain? At the top of a mountain? On polar ice? In warm oceans? These questions and more are answered through descriptions and responses of species such as golden toads, polar bears, foxes, marmots, krill, checkerspot butterflies and corals. Clever illustrations by Jamie Hogan of the animals in their habitats provide a picture book feel. But there are limitations to the book. More time could be spent on the implications of species shifting to higher elevations and latitudes–there is a sense that loses will be made up by "infilling" with other species. Causes are only briefly mentioned at the end, described briefly as "pollutants in the atmosphere that trap the sun's heat." Responses to the problem are limited to "learning how to control pollution," to merely slow the rate of warming. This book is an excellent introduction to global warming, but should be supported by additional resources on causes and mitigation in general, and what kids can do specifically to try to make a difference in the fight against global warming. The book includes a useful glossary for younger students and a short list of resource books and websites. (AC)