An earnest children’s story about recycling and self-esteem.


Tika The Glass Jar

Campbell (Kai and the Magic Jacket, 2012) tells a tale about a baby-food container who dreams of being recycled as a medicine bottle.

As the story opens, Tika, a glass jar, or “Glassie,” full of carrots, jumps up and down on the grocery shelf, hoping to be chosen by a grocery-store customer. Soon, a mother tells her young son, “These healthy carrots will make you big and strong!” On the ride home, Tika is already dreaming about being recycled; she hopes to become a medicine bottle to help sick people feel better. Later, an empty Tika leaps into the recycling container with glee. There, she meets Coby, a glass ketchup bottle who wishes he could be recycled into a plastic bottle, because he sometimes feels bulky and heavy. Tika encourages him to adopt a more positive self-image, pointing out that he made kids happy by making their hamburgers and fries taste better. Later, inside Captain Rick, the recycling dumpster, the bottles make their way to the recycling center, whose entrance resembles the pearly gates. Captain Rick philosophizes, “Your next adventure has everything to do with your attitude. Glassies with a positive attitude are happy, and often attract good things.” Tika gets her wish, and happily goes off to become a medicine bottle. Some readers may embrace the text’s emotional pitch for recycling. The book also offers youngsters a message about self-worth, as when Tika explains that she always tries to see the beauty “in myself and what I have to offer.” However, even very young children will know that big changes often involve a bit more apprehension, as well as excitement. The book’s illustrations by Graham are cheerful and cartoonlike, and depict Tika with an open smile; when Tika bats her long-lashed baby-blues at shoppers, the other baby-food jars don’t stand a chance.

An earnest children’s story about recycling and self-esteem.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-0990375517

Page Count: 38

Publisher: Blissful Thinking Publishing, LLC.

Review Posted Online: Sept. 29, 2014

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


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 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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