Will Snowboy and his Ice Troopers save the planet by reining in the greedy shortsightedness of Greenbackboy?
Whimsical artwork and lyrical, folkloric prose present a motif both familiar and new. Snowboy and Greenbackboy are light-skinned waifs: Snowboy has a pointy, elfin hood atop his Cloak of Many Uses; Greenbackboy sports a brown hat with bearlike ears. The moppets’ characterizations are expressive—as are those of Snowboy’s loyal Ice Troopers: two pigs and a polar bear. Greenbackboy easily persuades Snowboy to chop down trees and overfish the ocean to get lots of “KA-CHING,” represented by piles of glowing, yellow coins. Well—Snowboy is almost persuaded; in each instance, at the last minute, he remembers the importance of keeping at least one tree and two fish from extinction, and he acts accordingly. The text is both poetic and apocalyptic, as when a storm blows through: “As there were no trees to snag its wings, it swept all before it, tossing the mountains of canned fish into the empty oceans, where they sank and rusted and were lost.” The text moves beyond the expected rescue of planetary resources to reconciliation between the boys; a sweet, bedtime-story ending; and a sly reminder about constant vigilance needed against “the fantasy of KA-CHING.”
Humor and heartfelt lyricism create a clear but nonpedantic morality tale for young and young-at-heart. (Picture book. 3-7)