Following the eco theme I seem to have going on at the moment, let me introduce you to another couples of green gems for children from ages 2-6. Tod Parr’s The Earth Book , looks like it has been illustrated by kids, in a professional kind of way! Love the fact that the two children holding up the earth on the front cover are wearing odd shoes. This, and odd socks, was a quirky behavior I had at primary school (clearly I didn’t like to blend in with the crowd – nor was I, or ever will be, a trend setter!).
It is a colorful, simple, very kid-friendly and persuasive look at the reasons we look after the planet. We love trees because we “want the owls to have a place to live” is a compelling example. Some of the extrapolation, however, may be a little understated for the younger reader, for example, shutting the refrigerator to save energy ‘because I want the snowman to stay cool’, may need a few sentences on global warming from the narrator! This can, however, lead to some great class discussion too. It is a good platform to look at consequences.
This is a fun book to read, and every page has beaming children and animals all happily cohabiting. The bonus is a wonderful tear-out poster at the back of the book with ten tips for helping the earth, including the very useful #10 ‘ I Put my underwear in the freezer when it’s hot’. I bought this for a young friend, but darn, I really like the poster! This was a New York best seller and has a great app to go with it. The front cover includes a circular die-cut Earth and appropriately the book is printed entirely with recycled materials and nontoxic soy inks.
Michael Recycle by Ellie Bethel and Illustrated by Alexander Colombo, is another book in this genre. This is the story of Michael Recycle, a flying, caped protagonist with a colander as protective headwear, who battles a green crusade and encourages a town of lazy, dirty and wasteful inhabitants to get their act together and go green. They start recycling paper, cans, plastic etc. The vocabulary is definitely more British; think rubbish and litter. The Illustrations are comic; bright smiley characters with quirky expressions. Michael Recycle is an appealing boy-superhero, and the rhyming text should produce some giggles. I think it would make another good addition to a classroom green theme. It presents the recycling message in a vibrant and humorous manner, sure to appeal to 3-7 year olds.
‘There once was a town
Where Garbage was left
to go rotten and slimy.”
# 94 & 95 in the There’s a Book Read to Me Picture Book Challenge (Still 25 to go by December 31st!)