Skip to main content
Animal-packed read-aloud book about climate change


Mattias De Leeuw & Bette Westera

Arend is born in a nest on an ice floe. The sun never sets there, which at first Arend finds rather pleasant. But then the ice melts and the nest slides into the cold sea. Arend acknowledges defeat. He takes to the air, spreads his wings and lets the wind carry him along. From the sky, however, Arend can see that the water is rising. Soon all the animals will drown, he thinks. Somebody must do something, but who? Arend dives down to warn the animals that live on the land. But they’ve not the slightest interest in a bird who has come to disturb their lovely lazy life. The sloth hangs nice and dry in his tree, the chimpanzee can at last see the ocean, and according to the elephant a bit of wetness in the parched desert wouldn’t be a bad thing. Arend flies away disappointed until he spots unexpected salvation in the distance.

Saved! is a compelling picture book, full of beautiful details, which invites our imagination to examine the effects of global warming. ****
NRC Handelsblad

‘Saved’ is a contemporary fable in which Bette Westera and Mattias De Leeuw make a poetic plea for cooperation and steadfastness. The story, tailor-made for young children, tells of the impact of climate change. Westera portrays the animals’ naive light-heartedness and Arend’s despair in compelling and playful verses, without passing judgement. She playfully invites children to think for themselves about the warming of the earth. With dynamic and bold brushstrokes, De Leeuw lifts the reader onto Arend’s back to look out across wide panoramas. Against that colourful background he zooms in on poses, facial expressions and compositions that evoke humour but also a sense of impending danger. With ‘Saved’ De Leeuw and Westera have created a beautiful read-aloud book that will thrill readers of all generations.

A moving picture book about climate change, the power of friendship and working together.
Friesch Dagblad
What verve, what movement.