Worthy and well meant, if readable only in small doses, this compendium gathers advice and personal testimony from a host of active writers about ways to cut down on energy use and waste. With some exceptions, such as Robert Lipsyte’s Ten Rules to Save the Planet (“Never flush the toilet. When it gets hot in the house, walk around naked”), the entries are earnest in tone and practical (if repetitive) in content: Carry water and lunches in reusable containers; find alternatives to plastic bags; set up a community or school “swap shop.” For would-be activists, Susan Cooper offers the tried and true “Ask questions; create guilt,” and Bruce Balan cranks that up a notch: “Adults are destroying your world. So let them know about it. Shout it out. Get in their face.” The one- to three-page statements march on relentlessly to the large annotated list of websites at the end. The contributors’ names may draw well-read audiences, but the project-oriented approach in the likes of Anne Jankeliowitch’s 50 Ways to Save the Earth (2008), illustrated by Philippe Bourseiller, provides clearer blueprints for promoting a green agenda. (Nonfiction. 10-13)

Pub Date: March 24, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-385-73721-0

Page Count: 268

Publisher: Yearling/Random

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2009

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The Pumpkin Book (32 pp.; $16.95; Sept. 15; 0-8234-1465-5): From seed to vine and blossom to table, Gibbons traces the growth cycle of everyone’s favorite autumn symbol—the pumpkin. Meticulous drawings detail the transformation of tiny seeds to the colorful gourds that appear at roadside stands and stores in the fall. Directions for planting a pumpkin patch, carving a jack-o’-lantern, and drying the seeds give young gardeners the instructions they need to grow and enjoy their own golden globes. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 1999

ISBN: 0-8234-1465-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1999

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Remarking that ``nothing about the weather is very simple,'' Simon goes on to describe how the sun, atmosphere, earth's rotation, ground cover, altitude, pollution, and other factors influence it; briefly, he also tells how weather balloons gather information. Even for this outstanding author, it's a tough, complex topic, and he's not entirely successful in simplifying it; moreover, the import of the striking uncaptioned color photos here isn't always clear. One passage—``Cumulus clouds sometimes build up into towering masses called cumulus congestus, or swelling cumulus, which may turn into cumulonimbus clouds''—is superimposed on a blue-gray, cloud-covered landscape. But which kind of clouds are these? Another photo, in blue-black and white, shows what might be precipitation in the upper atmosphere, or rain falling on a darkened landscape, or...? Generally competent and certainly attractive, but not Simon's best. (Nonfiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1993

ISBN: 0-688-10546-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1993

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