Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Cabo and Coral Meet a Kelp Hugger: Understanding Climate Change is an educational picture book for children, grades K-3, written by Paolo Cabo Wahn and Udo Wahn, M.D. and illustrated by Jennifer Belote. Kelpy didn’t always live in the aquarium. It was large and contained many different plants, fish and other sea life, but it wasn’t the reef he grew up in and loved before he was ensnared in a fishing net and injured. Granted, he still did have kelp to hug, which made him feel much better, and was, by the way, how he got his name. Kelpy always enjoyed when Cabo and Coral would come to visit him. They were two children who loved to surf and could be found on the waves after school each day. Cabo loved the warm weather they were experiencing, but he was confused why the weather felt more like summer than fall. On the way home, Coral explained about climate change, and the two of them stopped in to visit Kelpy.
Cabo and Coral Meet a Kelp Hugger: Understanding Climate Change introduces the subject and science of climate change in ways that are easily understandable by children. The Wahns use Cabo, Coral and Kelpy’s experiences to highlight the changes that have been occurring at an alarming rate, as well as through the use of before and after pictures of the beach, the Arctic, and the African Savanna. Practical ways that kids and their parents can help to reverse climate change are addressed both in the story and in an appendix. There’s also a glossary of the terms used in the text. Jennifer Belote’s illustrations are superb! They really bring Kelpy to life, and made me almost feel as though I were out there on the beach and enjoying the waves along with Coral and Cabo. Her Savanna and Arctic pictures are also first-rate. Children are encouraged to view the healthy environment pictures and to color in the “now” pictures as part of playing their own part in restoring the environment. Cabo and Coral Meet a Kelp Hugger: Understanding Climate Change helps kids and their parents understand just what is at stake with our environment, and it teaches them how to actively be a part of the solution. It’s most highly recommended.