Celebrate Earth Day With “The Power Families”

Hacking the Holidays Kickstarter

Power Families book coversPower Families book covers

Looking for a way to celebrate Earth Day? Author Suse Moore and artist Andy Elkerton have teamed up to create the Power Families: three children’s books about clean energy. Flo and Mo Power and the Big Storm features wave turbine generators, Max Power and the Bagpipes is about wind energy, and Ella power and the Sun Puppies highlights solar power.

Excerpt from Flo and Mo Power and the Big StormExcerpt from Flo and Mo Power and the Big Storm

Excerpt from Flo and Mo Power and the Big Storm, used with permission. (Click to enlarge)

The books feature various kids from the Power family in a little story that includes some elements of the various power generators but isn’t entirely focused on them. The stories aren’t strictly informational and have cartoony and magical elements in them. For instance, Max Power and the Bagpipes features a magical song that causes the wind to blow so that there will be enough power to light and heat the big tent for a talent show. Ella Power takes her pet guitar-playing kangaroo with her as they go check out the solar collectors. Flo and Mo’s Aquanaut has some pretty incredible robot arms.

Solar CollectorSolar Collector

Solar Collector (click to enlarge)

It’s not all fantasy, though: each book includes clean energy generation as a key plot element, and there are also diagrams of the generators included after the end of the stories. It’s a neat way to incorporate some green tech into children’s books and introduce them to some earth-friendly ideas.

The books have been self-funded to this point and have had a small print run in the UK. Moore is now raising funds to have the books printed in the US using eco-friendly processes and materials. The money raised will go toward the actual printing of the books, and anything over their target amount will go toward a secondary goal of visiting schools to teach about clean energy.

I got an advance peek at digital versions of all three books, and they’re pretty fun. The artwork is delightful and the stories are pretty fun to read. I wish there were a little more of the science incorporated into the stories themselves, but I do think that it’s a great idea to introduce the technology in a story rather than just in a non-fiction book. The Flo and Mo book also has a lesson about sharing and cooperating, but the other two are more just fun stories about the kids without obvious morals attached.

If you like the idea of teaching kids about clean energy, head over to the Kickstarter page for more information. There are various funding levels starting at $20 which will include getting copies of the books and limited edition prints of artwork from the books — but the most important reward is the payoff of a generation of kids who grow up thinking about renewable energy.

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