11.15.2013

PBBF: Winston of Churchill

So I was brainstorming with my friend Anna about what to do on a bulletin board. She suggested a winter scene, I was thinking something having to do with kindness. Then it hit me:
Kindness = Global Warming.

I could totally see it. 
A snow globe with a scene out of a Norman Rockwell painting ... and that's when she said, "You want melting snowmen?" 
Well, no, not the global warming that leaves polar bears homeless, the kind of global warming that warms hearts all over the world ... but we never could get that idea off the ground. I think we're going with 
It's Cool To Be Kind All Around The Globe.

That's a nice compromise, don't you think?
Anyway, enter today's PPBF



Title: Winston of Churchill: One Bear's Battle Against Global Warming 
Author: Jean Davies Okimoto
Illustrator:  Jeremiah Trammel
Publisher: Sasquatch Books
Date: 2007
Suitable for ages: 6-10
Themes: citizenship, global warming, integrity
Fiction
Brief Synopsis: Winston, the adorable polar bear of Churchill, Canada, has observed that the earth is getting warmer due to human-generated pollution. He wants to mobilize his friends to do something about it. But Winston's wife refuses to follow him at first, pointing out that Winston himself contributes to global warming - by smoking a burning, smelly cigar! "How can you convince people to stop doing what they're doing unless you can show that every little bit helps?" his wife demands. 

Opening Pages: Winston of Churchill was a great white bear. Every year in the late fall and early winter, Winston and the other polar bears came to hunt from the ice of Hudson Bay near the town of churchill, in the Canadian province of Manitoba.

Resources:  
Visit the author's webpage {here}.
Read a review from Examiner.com {here}.
Enjoy another review at Notes, Quotes, and Questions {here}.
Try some polar bear activities at Crafts For Kids {here}.
Learn about our neighbors to the north by creating Canadian crafts.

Why I like this book: Winston learns that the most persuasive way to advocate change is to change himself, and he gives up his cigar to help convince humans to improve their world. Children of all ages can learn about citizenship through this intriguing tale. There's a built-in history lesson with the reference to Winston's namesake, the famous Winston Churchill, who rallied his fellow citizens to fight against potential disaster. And there's the real-life environmental threat of our times that's bound to ignite an interesting discussion among students: global warming. Get ready for a riveting debate about what, if anything, we can do to reduce pollution and combat the effects of global warming. Then find out what issue your students would be willing to picket for or against.

This cool Green Earth Book Award winner can also be the springboard for a formal debate on the controversy of global warming or a poster project showing every-day examples of global warming. It might also generate an interesting reflective essay on the quote, "What you permit, you promote." Explain that this quote means if you allow something, then you're okay with it and even support it. In the book, Winston was smoking which promoted global warming, the very cause he was working against. Another way to say that same thing is "What you encourage, you teach." Ask students to think of an example of when this might ring true in school.



Just wanted to launch with this fluff ball from Arctic Tale.
Click the pict to learn more about polar bears.





19 comments:

  1. I like your school theme of kindness. A book to use with it might be "Because Amelia Smiled," by David Ezra Stein. He smiles travels around the world.

    I really like your choice today about global warming. I like the theme for Winston, change begins with each one of us. Wished I had found this book because it's such an important topic and kids are worried about the future. Many good books about what kids are doing around the world to help. Will definitely check this one out. Always look forward to your suggestions and activities.

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    1. Thank you, Pat. The whole time I was putting this post together, I kept wondering if you knew this book. I had a strong feeling it'd interest you if you didn't.

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  2. How clever to connect the story with the real Churchill. "What you permit, you promote" is so true. Thanks for sharing this one!

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    1. Thank you for stopping by, Jarm. I heard Hal Urban say "what you permit, you promote" ten years ago and I've used it over and over again!

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  3. What a fantastic sounding book! My grandparents traveled to Churchill many, many years ago to see the polar bears. I can imagine that if they were still alive and could go now, they would see an immense difference.

    "What you permit, you promote." What an excellent concept to remember. Thank you not only for introducing this book, but also for your wise words about it and about global warming.

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    1. I'd like to go there, too. I appreciate your visit and your kind words, Beth.

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  4. I'd never heard of this book. Looks great - thank you for sharing!

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    1. I think it's a worthwhile read, Julie. Thanks for stopping by!

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  5. I like your global warming idea! Very clever. Too bad your co workers didn't see it. When I saw your title of Winston at Churchill, I thought about Mr Churchill's dog. and when I saw it was a polar bear it made me laugh. What a great way to talk about taking care of nature. Thanks for this review!

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    1. Oh, Rhythm, I can't stop smiling when you come by! Thank you for your support. I think you'll like Winston. He's a little gruff, but his bark is worse than his bite!

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  6. This sounds like a wonderful book with an important and timely message, Barbara. And I'm always glad to add PBs for older readers to our list! Thanks so much for this one! :)

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    1. My pleasure, Susanna. It might be a little difficult for the six-year-olds, but they'll appreciate the polar bear mc ... it'll really be riveting for those fourth and fifth graders whose teachers are willing to use a picture book to get them thinking, reflecting, planning and taking action!

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  7. The face of the polar bear on the cover ... priceless!

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    1. Yes, Joanne, Winston is precious ... and I think you'll fall in love with his wife, too!

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  8. What a very interesting story on a universal subject. Love the illustrations and also your links and activites. Thanks for sharing, Barbara

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    1. Absolutely one of my favorite things to do on the computer, thinking up and researching ways to enrich my PPBF picks. Thanks for stopping by!

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  9. Great topic and looks like a wonderful way to share it with young readers. Checking to see if my library has a copy. Thanks.

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  10. Nice book to add to the list. Love the cover!

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  11. When I saw Winston Churchill on PPBF at Susanna's site I immediately thought of Great Britons General. Your activities are wonderful as ever and could include a discussion of this polar bears name sake as well. Love the premise for Climate Change. I'm going to be on the look out for this one.

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I really enjoy hearing from my readers; thanks for sharing your reflections with us!

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