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Children's Nonfiction Environmental Science & Ecosystems

This Is My Planet

The Kids' Guide to Global Warming

by (author) Jan Thornhill

Owlkids Books Inc.
Initial publish date
Sep 2007
Environmental Science & Ecosystems, Environmental Conservation & Protection
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2007
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2007
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Out of print

This edition is not currently available in bookstores. Check your local library or search for used copies at Abebooks.

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 9 to 13
  • Grade: 4 to 7


As world leaders and others face up to what needs to be done to ensure the future of our planet, Jan Thornhill gives a young audience the tools to understand the crisis and take action in their own lives. Her intelligent, sensitive text guides readers through a sometimes difficult but highly relevant terrain. While not shying away from the facts, This Is My Planet offers hope, showing where action can make a difference and evidence of the amazing resilience and adaptability of Earth. Beginning with a foundation that answers basic questions about how our planet works, and moving through an in-depth look at three specific environments — polar, ocean, and land — and at our human societies, Thornhill takes a comprehensive look at the subject of global warming. In a conversational tone, This Is My Planet explores fascinating aspects of how our world works and how we can preserve it. Never preaching or alarmist, this amazing book arms young readers with the facts to form their own intelligent opinions.

About the author

Jan Thornhill is an author, illustrator and designer who brings her fascination with the natural world to her books for children. They include I Found a Dead Bird (National Parenting Publications Gold Award, Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children’s Non-Fiction, Children’s Literature Roundtables of Canada Information Book Award); The Wildlife 123 (UNICEF-Ezra Jack Keats International Award for Excellence in Children’s Book Illustration, Governor General’s Award finalist); and The Wildlife ABC (Governor General’s Award finalist). Jan recently won the Vicky Metcalf Award for Literature for Young People. She spends her spare time in the woods obsessively collecting and cataloguing wild mushrooms and slime molds.

Jan Thornhill's profile page


  • Short-listed, British Columbia Library Association, Red Cedar Book Award
  • Short-listed, Canadian Science Writers' Association, Science in Society Award
  • Short-listed, Ontario Library Association, Silver Birch Award
  • Short-listed, Children's Literature Roundtables of Canada, Information Book Award
  • Short-listed, Alberta Children's Choice Awards, Rocky Mountain Book Award
  • Short-listed, Canadian Children's Book Centre, Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children's Non-fiction
  • Winner, National Parenting Publications Awards, Children's Products Competition, Gold

Editorial Reviews

This is an amazing fact filled book about global warming. It explains how our planet works and explores the changes the earth is going through. By understanding how and why this is happening, kids can better understand what they can do to help. The great photographs and easy to understand text helps to empower young readers and encourage them to get involved in our planet.

Educates young readers about global warming and also empowers them to become a part of the solution. The colorful, attention-grabbing pages of this impassioned book offer a clear and fascinating look at a wide range of global warming topics.

Edmonton’s Child

This book is a wonderful instructional tool that will draw in young readers with its brightly colored pages, its beautiful photography, and its clear, well-researched and interesting — but not too lengthy — text blocks covering a multitude of topics.

Canadian Children’s Book News

Global warming is the hot topic of our times. This colorful book addresses the major issues in easy-to-understand language…It is an excellent introduction to a complex subject.

Quebec Home & School News

...a comprehensive, but down-to-earth, guide for kids who want to help the Earth. Although the topic is scary, Thornhill balances the sobering facts with simple action plans that offer hope for the fate of the planet.

Chronicle Herald

Everything here is clever, concise and accessible…(every activity in this book is easily do-able and user-friendly). The book is also full of evocative photographs and illustrate perfectly the theory of global warming. Best of all, the book never ever talks down to kids.


[Jan Thornhill] pairs dynamic eye-catching graphic design and photography with short bursts of text to tell the story of climate change. Kids will love the presentation, vibrant colors and bold text blocks [she] uses throughout This is My Planet…Thornhill’s text is factual and her tone remains positive. She concludes This is My Planet on a hopeful note, pointing out that, ‘Humans are resilient, and Earth is, too!’

The Telegram (St. John’s)

In This Is My Planet, Jan Thornhill tackles the biggest issue that Earth and its inhabitants are currently facing, in terms that elementary school students can understand…Information is presented in a colorful format with lots of photographs and illustrations to capture and hold the attention of young readers. This is a great resource to read aloud and discuss with your students; you may want to monitor their reaction to what they are learning and to encourage a sense of empowerment through knowledge and action, and to instill hope for the future.

Canadian Teacher

Thornhill’s writing is informative and clear…This is My Planet is certain to appeal to boys and girls who want to better understand global warming and who are interested in acting for the environment. Highly Recommended.

CM Magazine: Canadian Review of Materials

It is a great book for a wide range of ages and reading interests and a useful book for classrooms and libraries. Recommended.

Canadian Children’s Book News

Use[s] colorful photographs, charts, and quirky graphics to teach children about the causes of global warming and what people of all ages can do about it…Its brightly colored text boxes and vibrant photomontages ensure a lively read.

Audubon Magazine

This work highlights the interconnectedness of all living beings in bite-sized bits…Eye-catching colors and many illustrations should grab young readers long enough to impart this vital message.

School Library Journal

Clearly written and illustrated with crisp color photos and useful charts and graphs, this book not only points out dangers but also includes positive aspects, such as discoveries of new species and regrowth where old forests have died. Change is here to stay and suggestions for what kids can do to make their futures better wrap up this savvy volume.

Chicago Sun Times

This Is My Planet is bright and colorful, and uses small blocks of text and lots of photographs to explain the science of global warming and how it affects life at the poles, in the ocean, and on land.

KNOW Magazine

Winning text, well placed and chosen photographic images, bold colors and a great design. There are big sections about the earth, the oceans, the land and the world’s people. Each one provides good clear information about the effects of climate change. Jan Thornhill offers hope that comes with knowledge and encourages young readers to begin to make a difference in the world…. showing us that small changes can be effective and that they are possible.

Brandon Sun

The book reminds me of a scrapbook with color photographs and illustrations scattered throughout that will appeal to even the most reluctant of readers...Ms. Thornhill never comes across as preachy or accusatory. Instead, she presents straight facts and gives readers solid recommendations for what they can do to help protect the earth.

The Well-Read

In terms of people, [Jan Thornhill] is encouraging. Although, as she points out, people are high energy consumers…it is our ingenuity, knowledge and careful stewardship of the Earth that provides ground for optimism as we battle the adverse effects of global warming.

The Globe and Mail

The text is informative and covers a remarkable range of global warming topics, from living houses to plastic bath toys…the attractive illustrations are appropriate and generally complement the text…there is a lot of fascinating and important information in This Is My Planet.

Quill & Quire

Wow! Could a book be more interesting? Artfully arranged using bright colors, various fonts and numerous photographs to highlight facts about global warming, both you and your child will not put this book down until you’ve devoured each morsel. Nicely done.

You couldn’t do any better than this…for any intellectually curious juvenile…Open[s] doors to hundreds of family conversations or classroom activities. Beautiful to look at, intriguing to browse…

This splashy, scrapbook-style book explores questions adeptly such as: Why is Global Warming a problem? How can we stop it from getting worse?...The discussion is not oversimplified.

Skipping Stones

This is My Planet offers an introduction to [global warming] written in a straightforward manner that is perfect for middle shcoolchildren to easily understand. Although the topic is scary, author Jan Thornhill balances the sobering facts with simple action plans that offer hope for the fate of the planet. It is colorful, informative and educational but with enough sense of fun to keep children reading.

Chronicle Herald

This Is My Planet …provides easy-to-understand explanations of the effects of melting glacial ice, climate change, and earlier plant-blooming patterns. Each double-page spread…brings home the message with color photos, diagrams and informative captions and sidebars. Thornhill takes a look at large scale initiatives (the Kyoto Protocol and zero-energy buildings, for example) but also provides guidance for kids eager to initiate change.

Washington Parent

This book by Jan Thornhill provides a balanced look at the effects of global warming. It’s easy to read, interesting for children and adults, and optimistic about the future — if we pay attention to what the Earth is telling us.

Magnet Lab, Center for Integrating Research & Learning

Librarian Reviews

This Is My Planet: The Kids’ Guide to Global Warming

Author and illustrator Jan Thornhill is repeating the format of her successful I Found a Dead Bird: The Kids’ Guide to the Cycle of Life & Death with this new title on global warming and climate change. Using a combination of lively text, sharp images, bright colours and an appealing and animated design, the author presents us with facts, evidence and speculation about this important topic. She divides the book into broad sections – how the earth works, the far north and south, the ocean, the land, and people. Each section covers the major issues in brief pieces of text and lots of photos. The first page of each section gives a point form summary of what will follow, making it easy for children to grasp the main points. The information is, for the most part, clear and easy to understand.

I Found a Dead Bird was an amazing book because there aren’t many (or any) books that deal with the topic of death in quite the same way. There are more books out there on global warming, so This Is My Planet doesn’t pack quite the same punch. However, it is a great book for a wide range of ages and reading interests and a useful book for classrooms and libraries. Recommended.

Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Fall 2007. Vol.30 No.4.

This Is My Planet: The Kids’ Guide to Global Warming

This book answers basic questions about how our planet works and takes an in-depth look at how climate change is affecting different environments and people around the world. Photographs, list of resources and index are included.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. 2008.

Other titles by Jan Thornhill