David Henry Wilson (b. 1937) is a children’s author, playwright, poet, and translator. As an author, he is known for his Jeremy James series, the Superdog series and The Castle of Inside Out. His books have been translated into many languages including Spanish, German, Russian and Japanese.. For many years he lectured at the universities of Bristol (England) and Konstanz (Germany), where he founded and ran the university theatre. He is also a translator, and the range of his work covers art history by Werner Hofmann, travel books by Peter Sager, prose and poetry by Hermann Hesse, children’s novels and picture books. David Henry Wilson has been translating the Little Polar Bear series among others, for the past ten years.
Needless to say, David Henry Wilson has a special connection to the Little Polar Bear, his adventures and the climate change Lars, the Little Polar Bear, has been facing. It’s my honor to share this poem with us David Henry Wilson wrote the Little Polar Bear.
What if there were no ice and snow?
Where would a little polar bear go?
Who takes the ice and snow away?
No one. It simply melts each day.
Why does it melt? It changes form
Because the air is much too warm.
Who makes it warm? We humans do,
With our factories, cars, and houses too.
What if there were no fish in the sea?
Where would the polar bear’s breakfast be?
Who would take all the fish away?
No one. They simply die each day.
Why do they die? The cause of the slaughter
Is all of the poisons polluting the water.
Who makes the poisons? We humans do,
With pesticides, oil, and plastics too.
Is the little polar bear going to die?
No, we can save him, you and I.
How? By changing the way we live:
Instead of taking, we’ll learn to give.
This world is here for me and you,
But it’s here for other creatures too.
In saving the little bear – who can tell? –
Perhaps we’ll save ourselves as well.
We conducted an interview with David Henry Wilson. The full interview will be published by Bookbird – stay tuned for more information. Here is an excerpt from that interview:
RIKY: Thank you for the wonderful poem you wrote for us about the little polar bear and the environmental issues he has to face . When did you turn to writing poetry? What inspired you to do that?
DAVID: There was a school magazine, which published stories and poems, and we were made to learn poems off by heart for our English lessons. I loved them, and so I had to write my own! I’ve always had this creative drive. At primary school I was already writing my own stories, including a “novel” which was directly inspired by (cribbed from) Robinson Crusoe!?