Saturday, June 6, 2015

Jo Marshall: Saving the Environment One Word at a Time

Note from Jacquie: 

Jo Marshall

A Powerful Tool for Teaching Environmental Awareness

Jo Marshall’s books offer parents and teachers a powerful tool for teaching environmental awareness, climate change, extinction, and so much more. Whether sitting by the fire listening to your child read or discussing Twig stories in class, you will find Jo Marshall’s series well worth your time.

You can be confident that each story, while a fantasy, is based in current scientific knowledge. The following endorsements by Dr. Edwards, manager of education at the British Colombia Wildlife Park, is one of many.

“The environmental messages contained in this highly entertaining series of stories are certainly important and are told  in a way that will engage children everywhere.  The educational value of these books cannot be underestimated especially at a time when we desperately need to create a culture that is committed to protecting our natural wonders.” 

The story line is brought to life by artist D.W. Murray 

D.W. Murray is an award-winning Disney and Universal Pictures artist whose screen credits include Mulan, Tarzan, Lilo & Stitch, Brother Bear, and Curious George.  An award recipient of the prestigious New York Society of Illustrators Gallery, his talent is also recognized by the 2004 Gold Aurora Award.

Following is an overview of three Leaf adventures. Your comments and the addition of lesson resources are welcome. Join the conversation!

Leaf & the Rushing Waters

Learn more about Rushing Waters at Amazon

 Leaf  & the Rushing Waters  is about a young, boyish Twig named Leaf whose old tree home is inundated by a glacial outburst flood.  His family is trapped high in the Old Seeder’s knothole.  Leaf and his Twig friend Rustle set off to find a goliath beaver named Slapper, who can build a mighty dam to block the raging torrent.  What I love about Twig Stories is the opportunity to blend science fact into fantasy.  The idea that Slapper and his colony could build such an enormous and effective dam comes from an actual beaver dam in Alberta, Canada.  It is twice the length of Hoover Dam and can be seen from space! Largest Beaver Dam

Resources to Support Lesson Planning: 

Wikipedia: Beaver in the Sierra Nevada   

Nature Mapping: California Beavers 

Worth a Dam: Who are Beavers Helping Now?   

Wikipedia: Glacial Lake Outburst Flood

Amazon: Welcome to the World of Beavers      Amazon: The Beaver Its Life and Impact

Amazon: Flood Investigation of Glacial Outburst

Leaf & the Sky of Fire

Learn more about Sky of Fire at Amazon

In a dying forest infested with swarms of bark
beetles, frightened stick creatures called Twigs
hide in a cave. A young Twig named Leaf
attempts a foolhardy rescue, but instead leads
them all into greater danger. In their darkest 
hour a spirit bear stalks their steps and a terrifying firestorm explodes! Yet, there is one passage south, 
if only the Twigs discover it in time!

Resources to Support Lesson Planning:

Wikipedia: Bark Beetle     USDA Forest Service    

 Bark Beetle: Killing/Saving Forest  

Smokey the Bear    

National Geographic: Volcanic Thunderclouds     

Amazon: Fire in the Forest

Amazon: Fire in Sierra Nevada photographic...since 1849  

Amazon: Bark Beetles in North American Conifers

Leaf & the Long Ice

Learn more about Long Ice at Amazon

An impish, stick creature called Leaf lives in a 
giant, old tree beneath an ancient volcano and
its melting glacier. One day, Leaf’s young
brothers run away to play in the vanishing 
snow, but soon the Twig twins are lost in a maze
of endless ice tunnels. With the help of a 
grumpy hermit and feisty pika, Leaf searches 
the blue tubes. But it is the rare beasts of the Long 
Ice who will decide their fate! 

Resources to Support Lesson Planning:

WeatherWizkids: Volcanos     

National Geographic: Volcanos

Washington Trails Association: Ice Caves   

Wikipedia: Lava Tube

While Jo Marshall holds no special credentials in climate change research, biology, or botany, her manuscripts were validated and thoroughly reviewed by the conservation nonprofits’ founders and officers.  

She earned a BA in German Language and Literature from the University of Maryland, Europe in West Berlin.  Jo hopes you will recommend her Twig Stories novels to your students and children: Please visit her website: Jo Marshall Website and her  author Page


Jo Marshall said...

Thank you so much, Jacquie, for your generous praise and concern for the fragility of the Twigs' world. I enjoy helping children understand some of the complexities of climate change impacts, and hope these adventures bring about a desire in children to conserve our forests and wildlife. I appreciate your support, this beautiful post, and the encouraging endorsement for Twig Stories. You rock!

Jacqueline Rhoades said...

Happy to share information about your excellent series. I am looking forward to Leaf''s next adventure.