Sunday, 31 October 2010

The Big Green Book by Fred Pearce

September 2010, Eden Project Children's Books
12 pages, Hardback
Review copy

Non-fiction, Children's, 5-7 years

Raising awareness about the environment, how humans are both polluting and saving the planet, fun pop-outs, game at the end, 

How much of the planet does it takes to make your stuff? How much water does it take to grow the cotton for your t-shirt?
Why do we need to find greener types of energy?

What does it matter if the rainforests are being cut down?
Global warming, pollution, water shortages, ice caps melting . . . 
What does it all mean?

Pull the tabs, lift the flaps and open up the amazing pops and discover the answers to these questions and more. Find out what YOU can do to help our planet stay green!

Nayuleska's thoughts
I broke the book! The first time I flicked through, I hadn't used a pull the flap books for a looong while. I randomly pulled one of the tabs a bit too enthusiastically and it, um, broke. It still goes in and out, but I ripped the page a little :( I think this prove that it should survive being handled by children! (and pets...) [Edited to add that since that day I have managed to wreck that tab, and it now falls out of the book]

This book is full of colour, perfect for keeping all readers entertained. The facts are spread over the pages in short snippets. They can (mostly) be read in any order: the ones which have an order - like the water cycle - have the steps numbered. There are lots of flaps to lift, tabs to pull (carefully). Some facts are hidden away in a concertina like flap, with the positive and negative points on either side. There are some dials to turn, a large pop-out forest and a pop-out megacity to explore. The game at the end incorporates the facts from the book into the questions (don't worry, there is an answer card!). It's a book to read over and over, so that readers slowly build up a knowledge of what's happening to the environment as well as ways to help save it. 

There are a few small points that I weren't keen on: sometimes it was a little tricky to read the font on a few of the coloured backgrounds. If you have a super conscious child, they might take the information to the extreme and worry anything they do is hurting the planet, so some reassurance might be needed here. Also one or two flaps and facts were partially obscured in the pop-out forest - they could have been missed. 

Final conclusion
A bright and cheerful interactive book explaining conservation to readers, and encouraging a greener community.

You can find out more about Fred Pearce here.

Another great book concerning the environment is The Trouble With Dragons by Debi Gliori

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