A gallery of civilization-threatening “modern monsters,” from Smogosaurus and the forest-chewing Logre to Acid Rain Spirits and Nuclear Jinns.
These menaces are modeled on or at least inspired by creatures from pop culture or world folklore—Trash Kong, for instance, is joined by the Noisybird, loosely related to the similarly nine-headed Jiu Tou Niao of Chinese tradition, and the E-Waste Golem. Each one steps up in turn to boast of its destructive habits and potential and comes with an inset “Monster Card” featuring arrays of icons (interpreted on a key that can be folded out for ready reference) indicating activities that will promote, or hinder, further damage to our planet. The monsters are all created or (more commonly) abetted by human agency, and though many acknowledge anxiously that efforts are being made to check their depredations, Rohde urgently makes the case at beginning and end that there is still plenty of work to be done. The monsters themselves, which are largely rendered as diaphanous or semi-abstract shapes in various transparent hues with stylized, geometric faces, come across as more pretty than dangerous looking, and the fold-out world “Monster Map” at the end conveys a misleading impression that they are mostly localized threats rather than ubiquitous ones. Still, even younger readers will understand that each poses a real danger.
Challenges galore for young eco-crusaders, presented in an inventive format. (glossary, source list, index) (Informational picture book. 8-10)