Reuse and recycling happen throughout the natural world; you should do it, too.
Spread by spread, a collection of curious animal behaviors and the endless loop of the water cycle are offered as examples of recycling in the natural world. From a decorator sea urchin, protected by his collection of ocean refuse, to an Asian elephant’s meal of the banana leaf she first used as a fan, the text and slightly cartoony illustrations offer varied images of adaptive reuse. The animals are treated as individuals with intention. “Hermit crab helps keep the earth beautiful too.” A quiz in the end matter makes the point explicit: Animals “recycle for nests or shelters, camouflage or protection, as tools, or as nutrients.” Some may find this definition of recycling far-fetched and irresponsibly anthropomorphic, but the wide-ranging examples are intriguing. An elf owl makes its nest in an old woodpecker hole in a Sonoran Desert cactus. In the Indian Ocean, a veined octopus carries empty coconut halves to use as an emergency hiding place. In Africa, a dung beetle feeds its hatchlings “rhino poop.” The final page shows a diverse group of young humans washing a bicycle with rags from outgrown clothes. “I recycle. How about you?” But why humans should do this is not explained.
Well-meant but not convincing. (Informational picture book. 5-9)