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Talking to kids about climate change… with stinky toot jokes?

New children’s book from NII Explore brings humour and fun to science education

Climate change is something Phillip Craig—father, teacher, and now children’s book author—thinks about a lot.

“I have two young children. What kind of world will they grow up in?” asks Craig, Director of the NII Explore program at the Nuclear Innovation Institute. “And how can I talk to them—or any young person—about the realities of climate change, without making it too scary or overwhelming?”

So, when an opportunity arose to collaborate with North American Young Generation in Nuclear (NAYGN) on a book about science geared towards younger children, Craig was on it.


Titled Passing Gas: How Clean Energy Makes the World Less Smelly, the book’s rhymes guide readers through the causes and effects of carbon emissions—seen through the eyes of fluffy yellow ducks, who are simply trying to keep the world clean.


But greenhouse gases—which are “tooted” into the atmosphere from natural gas, coal, and oil power plants—are making this difficult, which prompts a choir of ducks to respond:


“So to get our point across, my friends will sing it in medley…

these carbon emissions are silent but deadly!”

Complete with leveled questions for further discussion to be used by parents or teachers, the book is geared towards children from preschool to grade six.


To order a copy of Passing Gas at cost or to download a free e-book version, visit the NAYGN website: https://naygn.org/committees/public-information/literacy.

For teachers interested in a virtual book reading from author Phillip Craig, with a fun and interactive guided discussion about climate change, please contact NII Explore at explore@nii.ca.

"As a soon-to-be new mother, I often think about the type of world my child will inherit and how we can better prepare and educate future generations about clean energy,” says the book’s illustrator Megan Sauer of Sweet & Sauer Studios.


“This is a great tool to educate with and distribute to our local schools, and I am very excited that NAYGN will promote this book at events like the United Nations Climate Change Conference,” said Naif Siddiqui, NAYGN Public Information Officer.


NII Explore is a program dedicated to delivering enhanced educational opportunities for school-aged children to learn, experiment, discover and create. NII Explore’s educational programming offers a range of learning styles that connects students to the best teaching and knowledge available.