Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day: Bag in the Wind

by Ted Kooser
ill. Barry Root

This book is a picture book in format, but far wordier and older than your average picture book consumer - what we call in libraries an "advanced picture book." It follows a plastic grocery bag as it escapes the landfill on a breeze and makes its way from one place to another, until it ends up in the hands o fa girl who had found it at the start. This circle is not noticed, because, the book notes, this plastic grocery bag was just like any other.

This isn't a story that would lend itself to younger children, as there is little real action to hold them, but it is an interesting journey for an older child with greater concentration, and it is beautifully told. The language is lovely, the illustrations warm and nostalgic in feel, and the matte pages thick and substantial. The overall effect is in fact quite wonderful (as one might well expect from a Candlewick publication), and the environmental messages in the actual story are not strongly emphasized so as to detract from the bag's ramblings.

A message about plastic bags at the end gives those who would like to know more a bit of extra information, and encourages children to reuse plastic bags or forgo them altogether in favour of cloth.

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