CM . . .
. Volume XXIII Number 36. . . .May 26, 2017
Divided into seven comprehensive chapters, What a Waste! tells the fascinating story of garbage. Eamer begins by posing two thought-provoking questions: what is garbage, and where does garbage go once we throw it away? In order to track down the answers, Eamer embarks on an engaging garbage odyssey. Among the myriad of interesting topics covered, readers will trace the history of garbage disposal, learn about dumps and landfills, discover how food and human waste is controlled, and be inspired to think about ways to reduce the mountains of garbage we produce. Smart waste management practices are peppered throughout the text, encouraging young audiences to approach garbage and its management with enthusiasm and curiosity. The book is equally jam-packed with titillating facts for those readers who enjoy gross-out science. These asides include the mention of disco rice (a term referring “to the squirming maggots that thrive in many of [New York City’s] garbage dumpsters”) and a discussion of fatbergs (“rotting mass[es] of congealed fat and household waste” that clog sewers). Edlund’s bright and comical illustrations only enhance the book’s enormous entertainment value. While Eamer also explores serious topics like the dangers of plastic waste, her tone never strays into didactic territory. Instead, the text highlights solutions to the world’s garbage problems and focuses on small ways that children can positively contribute to caring for the environment.
Chloe Humphreys is a newly minted librarian with a passion for children’s literature and reading. She works at Vancouver Public Library, and lives in beautiful North Vancouver, BC.
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