#1209 – Our House is on Fire by Jeanette Winter


Our House is on Fire
Greta Thunberg’s Call to Save the Planet
Written and Illustrated by Jeanette Winter
Beach Lane Books  9/24/2019
40 Pages   Ages 3—8

Genre:  Children’s Picture Book, Fiction
Themes: Climate Change, Activism



I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic . . .
I want you to act as if our house is on fire. Because it is.

When she was fifteen-years-old, Greta Thunberg’s teacher explained to her class that our climate is changing—the earth is getting warmer, the polar caps are melting, and life on earth is threatened. Greta was devastated. What could she do? If the grown-ups weren’t doing enough to save the planet, Greta would have to demand change herself.

Now, a year later, Greta is speaking to audiences of world leaders at important meetings like the United Nations Climate Conference and the World Economic Forum. She is leading the conversation on climate change and sparking worldwide conversation on how to save our planet. Greta is showing everyone that even the smallest person can make a big difference, and this picture book informs young readers who are beginning to learn about the world around them. (from press release)

Opening Lines

Greta is a quiet girl who led a quiet life ion the city of Stockholm. Her dog Roxy was her friend.

Why I like this book

Our House is On Fire shares Greta Thunberg’s journey with young children and their parents in such a way that readers cannot ignore her message. Ms. Winters introduces readers to Greta slowly. We learn she is a quiet, shy girl who often feels invisible, especially at school. It is in the classroom that Greta first learns about climate change.

Greta began thinking and researching (nonstop) the consequences of unfettered climate change. She saw the warming world melt polar ice caps and torrential rains flood our lands ruining the landscape. She learned about coral reefs dying, bleached by the warmer ocean waters.

As a result, Greta withdrew more each day, pondering climate change. She felt she had to do something. With her parents’ approval, Greta made a large sign:  SCHOOL STRIKE FOR CLIMATE. Then every Friday, she sat in front of the parliament building (in Sweden) with her sign.

In time, more students heard of the strike and join in, both in Stockholm and around the world. Adults begin listening. Greta accepts an invitation to speak to important leaders at the United Nations climate talks, in Poland, and the World Economic Forum in Switzerland.

Ms. Winter’s illustrations bring young Greta to life. We see the events that helped shape Greta into an activist, ready to speak up when necessary.  Ms. Winter’s subtle text and her beautiful images introduce readers to one of the important speakers of our time—Greta Thunberg.

Depending on whom you believe, climate change is threatening the planet, or is a bunch of hooey. Each year, more animals become extinct or nearly extinct. Mother Nature shows her wrath with huge storms, fires, and floods. These phenomenon, and more, are connected to climate control, or lack thereof.

Our House is On Fire: Greta Thunberg’s Call to Save the Planet belongs in classrooms across the country to help inspire other kids—it is their future.

Favorite Line

Greta’s speech at the United Nations climate talks in Poland gave us this quote:

“We need to keep the fossil fuels in the ground.”

I like this because I have always wondered what happens to Earth each time we take from her. Oil, gas, and other substances must be there for a reason. Earth must need them in some way to continue working, as she was created to work.

Back Matter

Kids from all over the globe have participated in Friday School Strikes for Climate. The first thing you see on the one page back matter is a list of the countries in which participating kids live. Missing from this list? The United States of America.

A list of sources used in writing the book and quotes by Greta Thunberg are referenced.

Finally, the author states why she created the book: “When I heard her speeches, I felt Greta was speaking for me. And I am eighty years old.”

Available at Amazon

Our House is on Fire: Greta Thunberg’s Call to Save the Planet. Text Copyright © 2019 by Jeanette Winter. Published by Beach Lane Books / Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division, New York, NY.

Copyright © 2019 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved


If you like this post ... Why?

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.