A serious but age-appropriate and playfully delivered message.

READ REVIEW

WHEN I EAT PLANTS

Animals celebrate as children extol the benefits of a plant-based diet in this picture book.

Through the pages of this earnest picture book about how a vegan diet can help the planet and the creatures on it, children hold fruits, grains, and vegetables as they describe how animals react “when I eat plants.” Pigs kick back in lounge chairs, chickens dance, a cow chills in a hammock, and deer skip through the woods. And when “we” eat a plant-based diet, the story concludes, “Mother Earth wraps her arms around us in a great, big hug.” Parkinson and illustrator Dumas (co-authors: Green Picks 5 Beans, 2019, etc.) shape their timely message with a light touch. Dumas’ illustrations, done with childlike awkwardness in what appears to be pen and watercolor, portray comical animals and diverse boys and girls with dark and light hair and different shades of skin. The book ends with four, tasty-sounding, plant-based recipes and a plea to adults “to be honest with children” about how the farming and eating of animals and animal products adversely affects the health of the Earth and all living things. This is followed by information aimed at adults listing ways that eating animal protein affects economics, poverty, the climate, and human health. Regrettably, the author does not include sources for most of the information listed (that the meat industry contributes to greenhouse gases, for example).

A serious but age-appropriate and playfully delivered message.

Pub Date: Oct. 9, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-73204-626-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Healthy Planet Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

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More gift book than storybook, this is a meaningful addition to nursery bookshelves

MAYBE

A young child explores the unlimited potential inherent in all humans.

“Have you ever wondered why you are here?” asks the second-person narration. There is no one like you. Maybe you’re here to make a difference with your uniqueness; maybe you will speak for those who can’t or use your gifts to shine a light into the darkness. The no-frills, unrhymed narrative encourages readers to follow their hearts and tap into their limitless potential to be anything and do anything. The precisely inked and colored artwork plays with perspective from the first double-page spread, in which the child contemplates a mountain (or maybe an iceberg) in their hands. Later, they stand on a ladder to place white spots on tall, red mushrooms. The oversized flora and fauna seem to symbolize the presumptively insurmountable, reinforcing the book’s message that anything is possible. This quiet read, with its sophisticated central question, encourages children to reach for their untapped potential while reminding them it won’t be easy—they will make messes and mistakes—but the magic within can help overcome falls and failures. It’s unlikely that members of the intended audience have begun to wonder about their life’s purpose, but this life-affirming mood piece has honorable intentions. The child, accompanied by an adorable piglet and sporting overalls and a bird-beaked cap made of leaves, presents white.

More gift book than storybook, this is a meaningful addition to nursery bookshelves . (Picture book. 2-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-946873-75-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Compendium

Review Posted Online: May 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2019

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THE LORAX

The greening of Dr. Seuss, in an ecology fable with an obvious message but a savingly silly style. In the desolate land of the Lifted Lorax, an aged creature called the Once-ler tells a young visitor how he arrived long ago in the then glorious country and began manufacturing anomalous objects called Thneeds from "the bright-colored tufts of the Truffula Trees." Despite protests from the Lorax, a native "who speaks for the trees," he continues to chop down Truffulas until he drives away the Brown Bar-ba-loots who had fed on the Tuffula fruit, the Swomee-Swans who can't sing a note for the smogulous smoke, and the Humming-Fish who had hummed in the pond now glumped up with Gluppity-Glupp. As for the Once-let, "1 went right on biggering, selling more Thneeds./ And I biggered my money, which everyone needs" — until the last Truffula falls. But one seed is left, and the Once-let hands it to his listener, with a message from the Lorax: "UNLESS someone like you/ cares a whole awful lot,/ nothing is going to get better./ It's not." The spontaneous madness of the old Dr. Seuss is absent here, but so is the boredom he often induced (in parents, anyway) with one ridiculous invention after another. And if the Once-let doesn't match the Grinch for sheer irresistible cussedness, he is stealing a lot more than Christmas and his story just might induce a generation of six-year-olds to care a whole lot.

Pub Date: Aug. 12, 1971

ISBN: 0394823370

Page Count: 72

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Oct. 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1971

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