From School Library Journal
Grade 1-6–From its cover with raised letters that look as though they are made of various recycled materials to the helpful back matter (including a list of books and Web sites on recycling), this title is attractive and informative. Divided into sections dealing with paper, plastic, metal, and fabric, the book tells how these materials are made, traces their history, and explains how they can be recycled, emphasizing benefits to the environment. Tips on how youngsters can make a difference appear throughout, and interviews with artists who work with recyclables are included as sidebars. Scattered circles contain information about the inability of various substances to break down. Several art projects are provided for each type of material. These activities produce items that children will enjoy making and using, such as jewelry crafted from paper beads, dolls created from plastic yogurt cups, stilts fashioned out of empty paint cans, and planters made from old shoes. The finished items are shown in full-page color photos. The procedural steps are clearly written, well numbered, and illustrated with clear pencil drawings. Great for Earth Day or any day, this colorful, inviting, and well-organized book is a wonderful choice for instilling environmental awareness or encouraging creativity. Bobbe Needham's Ecology Crafts for Kids
(Sterling, 1998) is another excellent title.–Lynda Ritterman, Atco Elementary School, Waterford, NJ
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Gr. 3-7. Much more than just a craft book, this title includes a brief history of trash--illustrated in a colorful "trash timeline"--that shows how the invention of disposable products and packaging has created increasing waste. Another diagram shows the "anatomy of a landfill." Organized into sections based on common recyclable materials (paper, plastic, metal, fabric), the easy-to-follow, mostly appealing projects include a "Fancy Foil Fish" aluminum mobile, paper jewelry, and milk-carton castles. Each section has useful information about the material being used, such as a chart that deciphers the codes used in various plastic products. Throughout, Martin makes suggestions for "living lightly" on Earth, although in many cases (purchasing choices, for example), kids will have to pass on the tips to their parents. Illustrated with cheerful cartoon drawings and color photos of the finished projects, and bolstered by many resource lists, this is a surprisingly attractive, substantive offering that is just the thing for teachers planning Earth Day activities. Gillian EngbergCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved