Culture

Published on December 18th, 2008 | by robinshreeves

5

Book Review: When Santa Turned Green


When Santa Turned GreenHave you been waiting for a green Christmas story for children? I found one. While perusing Barnes and Noble the other day I came across When Santa Turned Green by Victoria Perla.

Here’s the premise. Global warming is wreaking some havoc at Santa’s workshop. It’s causing a leak in the roof. Since Santa’s got a big in with the kids of the world, he calls on them to help him take action. The children in the story do small things like planting trees and packing their lunches in reusable containers. Santa starts using solar and wind power and wearing a Green Santa suit.

My first thought when I saw this book was, “ugh.” I don’t need something like this for my kids. They don’t need to be hit over the head with any more green-ness than I already clobber them with daily. But then I started reading some of the reviews from readers on various sites.

Turns out the ones who are loving this book aren’t green parents. It’s the teachers and school librarians who are singing its praises. When Santa Turned Green gives them a very non-threatening way to introduce the subject to younger children. Sometimes I forget that not all kids are being clobbered daily at home like mine are, and they need to be taught this stuff at school.

An anonymous review on Barnes and Noble said:

I am a second grade teacher and have labored over how to appropriately introduce global warming to seven year olds. And yet, this is exactly the audience that needs to be reached. This book came out at just the right time with just the right amount of seasonal joy and reality that isn’t overwhelming or frightening. It outlines a problem and offers solutions. It makes you feel powerful instead of powerless about a very real and very pressing issue.

And Kathie on Amazon said:

I am a retired pre school teacher ( with a degree in literature) and was in charge of the school library selections. This book is on target with the current global situation – a great way to get children involved in their future. I showed the book to several of my teacher friends and they were impressed.

If you’re stuck for a teacher’s gift or you want to make a donation to your school library this holiday season, perhaps this is a good choice. The ideas that it gives kids to help “do their part” are good ones. However, if I brought this home for my boys, they just might clobber me over the head with it. Fair enough.



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  • Levi Novey

    Thanks for this book review, Robin. I always feel the same way about environmental books for children (and adults for that matter). There’s too little that is interesting but not either sensationally doomsday-ish or overabundant in its praise for why the environment is so wonderful. When my daughter is a little bit older (perhaps next Christmas), I bet she would like this book.

  • http://globalpatriot.com Global Patriot

    This is a great way to get kids involved with the green movement and inspire them to think about how environmentally friendly their own presents are. They may even begin to ask for gifts with sustainability in mind – imagine that!

  • http://Greenhome.com Dillon

    Wow I really wish we had sold this book on our website at GreenHome.com- there’s always next year I guess (assuming that Santa’s roof isn’t fixed)!

    -Dillon
    Greenhome.com

  • http://www.alittlegreenereveryday.com/ Robin Shreeves

    There’s too little that is interesting but not either sensationally doomsday-ish or overabundant in its praise for why the environment is so wonderful.

    I often find that some of the best books to teach kids about the environment aren’t ones that are supposed to teach them about the environment. It’s just in their naturally. One of my six year old’s favorite books is about a garbage truck. It’s called I Stink. We always get to talk a little about recycling and other things when we read it.

    Another great one is Bottle Houses: The Creative World of Grandma Prisbrey about a woman who made an entire livable village out of bottles.

  • http://www.yahoo.com Bobby B.

    1. “Santa starts using solar and wind power”

    What was Santa using for power before going green? It stands to reason that The North Pole is off the grid. Plus, there are no oil pipelines or fuel truck routes up there. Had he found a way to capture and burn the methane that is trapped in the arctic ice? If so, we should have probably let him alone since the release of methane via the melting is a presumed greater danger than carbon dioxide emissions. Maybe he had perfected nuclear fusion…

    2. “It’s the teachers and school librarians who are singing its praises. When Santa Turned Green gives them a very non-threatening way to introduce the subject to younger children. Sometimes I forget that not all kids are being clobbered daily at home like mine are, and they need to be taught this stuff at school.”

    They actually need to be taught to think and to solve problems at school. The presentation of the green ideology without the presentation of any alternative theories is called INDOCTRINATION. As parents, we are well within our rights to indoctrinate our kids as we see fit. The state on the other hand should refrain from such indiscretions. Would you like the public school to guide your children to accept a set of religious beliefs contrary to your own?

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