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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Ukpik is a snowy owl. She loves her northern home, but every year she returns, it’s different. The snow is melting away and food is scarce. There is nowhere for her to go. When she flies around and seeks help from other northern animal friends, they all share the same sad story. Tuugaalik the narwhal, Nattiq the ringed seal and so many other creatures, even the northern human friends have their problems as the ice is too thin to allow them to cross it to hunt or fish. The problem is climate change and it’s affecting everyone. Each time Ukpik greets another northern creature suffering like she is, she proclaims, “Someone should do something about this.” And, finally, she realizes that she can speak out and make others realize that pollution is hurting the environment; it’s hurting everyone.
Sophie Weider’s picture book story, Who? Who Can Help the Warming Arctic?, is a classic story told in the age-old northern Inuit storytelling format. The author uses the snowy owl to tell the story, a tactic often used to teach valuable life lessons. The author also inserts some keywords in Inuktitut. The story is told with care and compassion and the message is clear. Climate change is affecting all of us, animals and humans alike, and we must do something to save our planet before it is too late. The plot is like a journey, following the snowy owl’s discovery of how climate change is affecting all of her animal friends, leading to the compelling climax where the snowy owl learns that it is vital that she takes action to educate others to make people in the north and the south more aware of what their careless and selfish lifestyles are doing to the planet. A passionate look at the need to reduce, reuse and recycle. Loved the illustrations.