Norah the Polar Bear

We love to hear about the different ways our facilitators are helping to spread compassion and wisdom, so we are very pleased to share a new children’s book with you that sensitively explores the topic of Climate Change:

Norah the Polar Bear & Marcin, the Polar Bear Whisperer, is a story about hope, friendship and solutions for taking care of the Earth, by Claudia Van Zuiden, one of FDCW’s facilitators.

Claudia is an active accredited member of the FDCW community, regularly delivering workshops internationally. She is accredited to facilitate 16 Guidelines Levels 1 & 2, 16 Guidelines for Children and Teens, and the Unlocking Your Potential program. Claudia is CEO and Founder of Solution Ways, and Co-Founder of Conscious World Agents, which are both solution-focused organisations for holistic & sustainable excellence performance.

The Story behind the book

Claudia describes what inspired her to write this charming book:

“Sometimes in life you feel such an urge to do something that you thought you never could.

“That’s how this started. In 2012, I had been sitting in Ceremony with 13 Indigenous Grandmothers in Nepal who came from all over the world to share their wisdom with a group of about 200 people, including me, my daughter Pema Doma and my friends Sabitha and Ram from Nepal.

“The Grandmothers spoke about our responsibility as humans to take good care of this beautiful planet that we live on, to leave it better than we found it, and to re-kindle the relationship we have with nature, with each other and with our hearts. Before this event, I also met Greta Huuva, a Sami elder from Sweden. She very generously took me under her wing and shared with me the most valuable ways of how to live in balance with Nature for nearly a decade. She taught me the ancient stories of the bear and how they represent strength and kindness, skills that we all need in life.

“After these life-changing events, my life changed on so many levels. I became more aware of my responsibility and started to encounter more and more events which made me decide to write a book for children.

“Children are the future and are exposed to a world that has been damaged in many ways. I want to give these children hope for their future, rather than fear.

“The story I am sharing with them is about hope, friendship, and solutions for taking care of the Earth. The story is about a polar bear called Norah, who has a very difficult experience due to the effects of Climate Change and due to people being very greedy. She ends up in a Zoo where she befriends a boy called Marcin. Marcin has the gift of being able to hear Norah’s thoughts, and Norah can hear his thoughts too. Together they come up with a plan to take positive steps in challenging times, and put them into action. It is a story about resilience, compassion, ethics, and action.

“The back of the book also has reflective questions. The questions are solution-focused, and include skills, strengths, and past successes and accomplishments. The book is written in English for ages 4 to 12, but could be for 95 and above, really. We are never too old to change our behaviour, or to become more mindful of how we think, act, and relate to ourselves, others and the whole world at large. I hope that this book will inspire many to make a positive impact, and that it may benefit limitless beings and Nature as a whole.”

Claudia van Zuiden

If you are interested in purchasing the book, click here.

To visit Claudia’s Website, click here.


‘’Dear Claudia, I loved the story. I think children will love it.’’

– Lexi, age 8, Scotland, UK

“This uplifting book provides a refreshingly positive approach to addressing the challenges of climate change with children, in a way that is filled with inspiration and hope. Claudia’s captivating characters instantly befriend the reader, opening their eyes and hearts to the wonders of the world. Their friendship creates a strong space where children can feel safe in the knowledge that they can dream big and find solutions to the challenges facing our natural world. This is the book that those working with young children have been yearning for. Not only does it tackle the complex topic of climate change in a way that is pro-active and filled with hope, it quietly teaches children valuable skills and attributes to support them in achieving their dreams. Every classroom should have a copy of this book. It is sure to become a well-thumbed favourite tale as Norah and Marcin settle themselves in the hearts of children around this beautiful world.”

– Lorna Lees, Primary School Teacher, Scotland, UK

Norah the Polar Bear is a beautifully written story about how climate change is impacting our world today.  However, it is much more than that. Woven throughout the story you will learn about solution-focused thinking and skills, resilience, the benefits of living in a mindful way, the importance of ‘being’ rather than ‘doing’ and how everything is always changing.
As a former teacher and head teacher, I believe this would make a very good study book for a class.  The discussion points at the end of the story provide many opportunities for further learning. 

”As a Granny to a growing brood of grandchildren, I think it would be a lovely book to snuggle up with, to nurture an interest in the ever-changing world that we are living in today. Our grandchildren are our future!’’ 

– Gillian Watt, Former Headteacher, Monymask Primary School, and Founder, AndBreathe123, Scotland, UK.

Resources for Children and Teens

If you’re interested in learning more about working with children, check out the resources offered by The Foundation for Developing Compassion and Wisdom. We provide a range of materials to help you teach compassion and wisdom.

16 to Live By for Teens

Downloadable Resources | Posts

16 to Live By is a project that supports young people aged 14 – 19 years in their own lives and communities in taking unified and courageous actions to help others.

16 to Live By for Teens

Ready, Set, Happy for Children

Ready Set Happy is a collection of songs, poems, plays, games, and scientific experiments for children, families and teachers, based on the 16 Guidelines for Life.

Ready, Set, Happy for Children

 Growing with the 16 Guidelines

Growing with the 16 Guidelines is a taster of activities taken from the resource Root Shoot Bloom (RSB) developed by Denise Flora. In 2020 Denise felt inspired to create a resource for educators and anyone working in community gardens to explore the 16 Guidelines with children outside in nature.

Growing with the 16 Guidelines

16G Happy Toolbox for Kids

The Happy Toolbox contains a selection of mindfulness exercises and an activity idea for each of the 16 Guidelines for Life to playfully explore the Guidelines with children.

16G Happy Toolbox for Kids

Foundation for Developing Compassion and Wisdom

If you’re interested in learning more about compassion and wisdom, check out Foundation for Developing Compassion and Wisdom (FDCW). We are a global charity based in London, dedicated to creating a more compassionate and wise world. Our resources, courses, and training programs focus on developing qualities such as kindness, patience, and courage, which are essential for meeting the challenges we all face. We’ve been providing secular training and resources to schools, universities, workplaces, healthcare, youth groups, and community centres since 2005, and our courses have reached thousands of people across more than 20 countries through our network of facilitators.

We hope you enjoyed this story and invite you to explore FDCW’s website for lots more inspiring stories, videos, meditations and other free stuff!

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