On the blog this week we will be looking at books that encourage children and young people to think about the natural world and the small, everyday things we can all do to protect it. In our first post, ELS library assistant Sarah finds inspiration from The Tindims of Rubbish Island. Printed in dyslexia-friendly font and full of lively illustrations, it is the first book in an exciting new series for 5-8 year olds by author Sally Gardner and illustrator Lydia Corry.
With an interest in being more environmentally friendly I increasingly find myself questioning my decisions. Do I need this item? Could I buy an alternative product from a source closer to home? Is there any way I can re-use this product before sending it to the recycling depot? I didn’t therefore need asking twice to review a fiction book written and illustrated by two conservationists.
The Tindims of Rubbish Island is about a happy community of recyclers (the Tindims) who use items that the Long Legs (humans) throw away. The Tindims build new and useful things from this waste, seeing ‘today’s rubbish as tomorrows treasure’ and rejoice in giving old things new life. Unfortunately, over time, they have noticed that the amount of waste has continued to increase, turning what was once only a pile of plastic rubbish into a whole mountain of it! What’s worse is that this mountain is threatening to get in the way of their annual Brightsea celebrations.
With quirky illustrations, an upbeat vibe and regular chapters (each with a short synopsis to explain what lies ahead) young readers should be able to navigate this story while understanding its message. It’s a gentle reminder that our actions have consequences and that we can – and must – play a part in looking after our environment before things get any worse. After all, we are all connected and what starts off as a problem for one species can quickly be a problem for us all. Having also learned a fact or two along the way, I’m already looking forward to the next few books in the series that are due out soon. Until then, this long leg will continue to refuse, reduce, re-use, repurpose, recycle and rethink until it comes as easily to me as it would to a Tindim.