As I sit here writing this week’s Ladybird Tuesday post one of the main news stories is around Greta Thunberg’s speech to world leaders at the United Nations climate change meeting in New York. Climate change has been headline news thanks to Greta Thunberg, but still there are people that deny it is real. People who say that Thunberg is an overexcited girl. People who say that she doesn’t understand and should be silenced. The problem is that there are people out there who still don’t understand climate change. People who deny that it is real.
HRH The Prince of Wales identified that people needed a plain English guide to climate change to help them actually understand it. He returned from the 2015 Paris Climate Change Summit and conversations he had made him realise just how valuable such a book would be.
Prince Charles’ conversations led to the first title in the new Ladybird Expert series (more on that in a moment) – Climate Change. Written by HRH along with Tony Juniper and Emily Shuckburgh it aims to give adults an expert yet simple guide to this complicated subject. As I’ve said many times here on Ladybird Tuesday, Ladybird books in their heyday were known for teaching children about a wide range of subjects and that’s exactly what they are trying to do with this title for adults who maybe enjoyed the original books as children.
At a first glance you could be forgiven for thinking that the art work in Climate Change is actually taken from old Ladybird titles, but then you see a specific picture depicting something that simply wasn’t about back then and you realise that the whole book is full of new artwork that has carefully be created to look like the old Ladybird style. Illustrator Ruth Palmer has done a fantastic job.
Starting the series with a title as potentially controversial as Climate Change means that Penguin (who now own Ladybird) were determined to get things right with this book. It was extensively peer reviewed, both by the Royal Meterological Society and also a number of academics.
The book takes the reader through from a general understanding of the earth’s climate, through the data on how temperatures and sea levels have been changing and the effects these are having on people, wildlife, business and communities. Man’s impact on the environment is clearly laid out alongside the data evidence and how it was gathered.
The book isn’t all doom and gloom though. It presents solutions to try to limit climate change going forwards. In just the two years since it was published change has taken place and Greta is responsible for helping to bring about so many of the conversations that people are having about climate change, especially children. I sadly still see and hear people who claim that it is all a figment of our imagination and I just hope that the book helps people generally understand the situation better so that they can help try to make others understand and make changes.
What I hadn’t realised until I sat down to research this particular title is that Ladybird have continued to release titles in this Ladybird Expert series since this title was published. There is now a wide range of books for adults available that cover everything from Homer to Quantum Mechanics. All written to educate rather than amuse (like the comedy titles that we’ve seen recently) these are actually little gems that would make excellent gifts. I guess it’s Ladybird going back to their roots and trying to reach some of the people that learnt from their books as children. And it adds yet another series to the list I need to look out for!
Ladybird Tuesday is a regular feature here on Penny Reads where I delve into my Ladybird book collection and choose a title to share with my readers. The weekly series originally started on my old blog, Being Mrs C, and I’m now in the process of moving all those posts over to Penny Reads and also adding titles that I have acquired since then. A list is currently being compiled here of all the titles I have in my collection.
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