When vehicles burn fossil fuels, they create carbon pollution that warms the planet and other air pollutants that harm people’s health.

Kids today will inherit these problems, so Janelle London wants them to know about the risks of burning gasoline and the alternatives.

“We looked and looked and there was no children’s storybook about gasoline at all. And so we decided it was time to write one,” she says.

London works for the nonprofit Coltura, which advocates for phasing out gasoline by the year 2040.

She and her colleague Matthew Metz wrote “Sparky’s Electrifying Tale,” a picture book about a boy named Rory, his sister, and his pet hamster Sparky. In the story, Rory learns where gasoline comes from and how burning it affects the climate and people’s health.

“The little boy becomes completely fed up with all these harms he’s hearing about with gasoline and asks, ‘Is there a way to stop using this stuff?’” she says.

The siblings find other ways to get around, like bikes and scooters. And with a little magic, the family’s gas car turns into an electric vehicle.

“Kids just get it,” London says. “Kids come away from this book totally understanding what the deal is and why we need to stop using gasoline. So we’ve been extremely pleased with the response from this book.”

Reporting credit: Ethan Freedman / ChavoBart Digital Media