Kids are like sponges. They soak up so much information so quickly, and they ask the most interesting and oftentimes thought provoking questions. This is why it is so important to expose kids at a young age to issues with the environment. When I listened to The Patchwork Bike by Maxine Beneba Clarke I instantly wanted to show it to my 5 year old nephew. He is doing virtual school, and we have a large role in choosing material for him, so I have been trying to find ways to incorporate discussions from this class into his education. After showing him the audio of the book he did not have much to say, but throughout the day his questions kept coming. He asked about how the kids in the story made a bike like that, and even asked if he could get rid of his bike to build one like theirs. We talked about how the book said they lived in a house made of mud, and looked at pictures of what real world places like that looked like. He learned what the word indigenous meant and kept trying to use it in sentences (he’ll get there). The point is this story, although not directly about how one can help the environment, opened a conversation and a young mind to many new concepts. He made connections that can now be fostered with further discussion, and by adding additional information.
This story as well as Run Wild by David Covell does an excellent job of depicting nature in a relatable way for children. There is a specific connection to be made here the the 25th Bali Principle that states, “Climate Justice calls for the education of present and future generations, emphasizes climate, energy, social and environmental issues, while basing itself on real-life experiences and an appreciation of diverse cultural perspectives.” Every child can relate to the free feeling of riding a bike or playing outside on a beautiful day. These stories allow children to put themselves into that situation and think about concepts in relation to themselves.