Philadelphia couple write children’s book about climate change

They saw a significant opportunity to create something that could help children and adults navigate the science of climate change, the feelings it may evoke, and what they could do about it.

They reached out to the climate committee of the Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry (GAP), given their extensive work on the subject, and pitched the idea to them. Then they got to work.

Champlin, Wortzel and GAP collaborated for about a year on the book. They worked with focus groups of teachers, children and experts to write a book that would be a comprehensive resource for children aged 6-10. Champlin also illustrated the book.

“Coco’s Fire” is a children’s book about climate change, written by Drexel students Jeremy Wortzel and Len Champlin. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

“I think art can be such an important vehicle for explaining science,” she said, adding that the goal was to connect the images in the book with the message and ensure the experience was ” comforting, uplifting and accurate” for readers. .

The book follows Coco the squirrel and her father as they embark on a journey to stop climate change. During their quest, they explore different topics that raise concerns for Coco and the things that inspire her. The story includes tools for managing anxiety, like breathing techniques, as well as actions anyone, including a child, can take to get involved in the fight against climate change.

“Coco’s Fire” is a children’s book about climate change, written by Drexel students Jeremy Wortzel and Len Champlin. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

“The way we present this topic to young people either scares them away and doesn’t bring it up, or empowers them,” Wortzel said.

The book is available to buy online and 65% of the proceeds are donated to climate change and mental health research.

About Terry Gongora

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