Friday, April 20, 2012

SPL Shelf Life [kids]


Not Your Typical Book about the Environment, by Elin Kelsey, 64 pages.
Why is this book not your typical book about the environment?
The state of our environment is serious and worrisome – so much so that kids hear continuous doom-and-gloom messages and information about the future of our world. Elin Kelsey’s new children’s book isn’t a typical book on this topic because it focuses instead on the positive things that people of all ages and do (and may already be doing) to diminish environmental harm and to help “green” our world.
We can make positive, sustainable choices instead of harmful choices. For example, we can walk, ride a bike or take public transit instead of driving/riding in a vehicle. We can eat less meat. We can use less water. We can use warm or cold water instead of hot water. We can recycle and reuse. We can choose to buy t-shirts and other clothing made of bamboo, organic cotton or hemp – or we can wear secondhand clothes.
With the many choices that we can make and the endless opportunities for change, no matter how small, people can indeed help our environment - one individual action at a time. There is hope for our world.
Author Elin Kelsey effectively refers to items which are familiar to kids - such as bikes, video games and t-shirts - and uses them as “launching pads” to explore related environmental issues in this positive, inspiring and informative book. With its upbeat, hopeful approach to our environment, this book challenges young readers to make a difference.
Well-researched and up-to-date, incorporating the latest products, practices and research in energy and other areas, Not Your Typical Book about the Environment was a finalist for the 2011 Norma Fleck Award, which is given annually to a high-quality non-fiction Canadian book for youth.  
** Recommended for ages 8 to 12 years.

This Tree Counts, by Alison Formento, 30 pages.
 A lone tree stands behind Oak Lane School.  It stands there quietly, but if you listen closely, it has stories to tell - ten stories of the little creatures that call it home. An owl, two spiders, three squirrels, four robins, five caterpillars, six ants, seven crickets, eight flies, nine ladybugs, ten earthworms live and raise their families in the branches of the tall oak tree or among its roots.
Not only is this tree a necessary source of shelter and food for all of these creatures, it provides shade and beauty for people. Also, this tree, like other trees, “washes” the air by taking in dirty air and sending out fresh oxygen to breathe.
Mr. Tate’s class at Oak Lane School listens closely to the tree’s happy tales of the many creatures that live and play among its leaves and branches, but they also discern that something is missing. The stately oak has been the only tree behind the school for many years, and it needs other trees to help it with its work.
Mr. Tate’s students decide to plant ten more trees behind the school, knowing that this is one way in which they too, can help our world.
This Tree Counts is another positive children’s book about the environment that will leave readers and listeners with a sense of hope for our world.
Happy Earth Day to all on April 22!
** Recommended for ages 3 to 7 years.

These reviews appeared in The Stratford Gazette on April 19, 2012. Written by Sally Hengeveld, Librarian.

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