Sure to provoke controversy and discussion, this illustrated introduction to vegan living occasionally leans too heavily on assumptions but generally offers a clear view of the topic.
Presented in picture-book format, this nonfiction work features a different concept on each two-page spread. These concepts include clothing choices, animal testing and using animals in entertainment venues as well as eating habits, farming and environmental degradation. With each, Roth examines the impact of peoples’ choices on the Earth and the animals that live on it. Colorful, stylized paintings vary in subject matter, from cheerful organic farms to starving children, wounded animals and raw meat. The graphic nature of some of the pictures suggest that adults would be most comfortable sharing Roth’s message with older elementary children, a reality somewhat at odds with the appealing cover and brevity of the text. The lack of an index or print citations to specific information may leave readers wondering whether some of her sweeping statements are entirely (or still) correct, depending on when the book is read. Roth’s decision to ascribe emotion to animals may also leave some readers unconvinced. With luck, however, her main thrust—that our choices influence the world around us—will remain true indefinitely.
Roth offers a strong statement in support of a philosophy that some adults may wish to share with the children in their lives. (suggestions for further action) (Nonfiction. 8-12)