Tag Archives: trash

Perfect Pairing – of Environmental Picture Books

A friend has undertaken the no-plastic challenge this month, and she has featured some terrific new picture books about the environment on her blog. I couldn’t help pairing two of them here to help get the word out that someone is never too young to reduce waste.

 

Join the No-Plastic Challenge! A First Book of Reducing Waste 

Author & Illustrator: Scot Ritchie

Publisher/Date: Kids Can Press/2019

Ages: 4-8

Themes: no-plastic challenge, waste, pollution, ocean, environmental action

Short Synopsis (from Goodreads):

For his birthday celebration, Nick has challenged his friends – Yulee, Sally, Pedro and Martin – to spend the day without using any single-use plastic. This means they use their own cloth bags for shopping, they say no thanks to plastic straws and, instead of balloons, they decorate with kites and streamers made of natural materials. The children discover that not using plastic is not that hard. They also learn about what plastic is made of, how much of it surrounds us and how it’s polluting our oceans and affecting the food chain. Most importantly, the five friends learn ways to use less – including just saying NO! The book concludes with fun ideas for readers to do a No-Plastic Challenge of their own!

This friendly introduction to a timely and urgent topic is part of Scot Ritchie’s popular Exploring Our Community series. It will raise awareness of just how much plastic we use every day, and why that matters. Rather than focusing on the negative, however, the book takes a positive, proactive approach to the subject, empowering children with ideas for what they can do about it. As with all the books in the series, this one features friendly, appealing illustrations and the same diverse cast of characters. It has strong curriculum ties in science, including environmental awareness, sustainability and stewardship. It also offers terrific character education lessons in responsibility, citizenship and initiative.

Read a review at Miss Marple’s Musings.

What a Waste: Trash, Recycling, and Protecting our Planet

Author & Illustrator: Jess French

Publisher/Date: DK Publishing (Penguin Random House)/2019

Ages: 6-11

Themes: recycling, trash, pollution, environmental action, oceans

Short Synopsis (from Goodreads):

Everything you need to know about what we’re doing to our environment, good and bad, from pollution and litter to renewable energy and plastic recycling.

This environmental book will teach young ecologists about how our actions affect planet Earth. Discover shocking facts about the waste we produce and where it goes. Did you know that every single plastic toothbrush ever made still exists? Or that there’s a floating mass of garbage twice the size of Texas drifting around the Pacific Ocean?

It’s not all bad news though. As well as explaining where we’re going wrong, What a Waste shows what we’re doing right! Discover plans already in motion to save our seas, how countries are implementing schemes that are having a positive impact, and how your waste can be turned into something useful. Every small change helps our planet!

Read a review at Miss Marple’s Musings.

I paired these books because both encourage young children to be concerned about, and to take action to help, the environment. Combining fictional characters and a birthday party at the beach with information about plastic waste and the oceans, Join the No-Plastic Challenge! is particularly well-suited to very young children, as more in-depth information is set apart from the story line, and there are many places in the illustrations that could give rise to discussion (I particularly liked a spread pointing out the many plastics found in a home). At 72 pages and with a glossary, “find out more” section, and index, What a Waste is better suited to a somewhat older audience, I think, and would be a tremendous resource in a classroom or for a school library. Both books, I think, will foster discussion about pollution and encourage even young children to use fewer single-use plastics.