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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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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An engaging mix of gentle behavior modeling and inventive story ideas that may well provide just the push needed to get some...

RALPH TELLS A STORY

With a little help from his audience, a young storyteller gets over a solid case of writer’s block in this engaging debut.

Despite the (sometimes creatively spelled) examples produced by all his classmates and the teacher’s assertion that “Stories are everywhere!” Ralph can’t get past putting his name at the top of his paper. One day, lying under the desk in despair, he remembers finding an inchworm in the park. That’s all he has, though, until his classmates’ questions—“Did it feel squishy?” “Did your mom let you keep it?” “Did you name it?”—open the floodgates for a rousing yarn featuring an interloping toddler, a broad comic turn and a dramatic rescue. Hanlon illustrates the episode with childlike scenes done in transparent colors, featuring friendly-looking children with big smiles and widely spaced button eyes. The narrative text is printed in standard type, but the children’s dialogue is rendered in hand-lettered printing within speech balloons. The episode is enhanced with a page of elementary writing tips and the tantalizing titles of his many subsequent stories (“When I Ate Too Much Spaghetti,” “The Scariest Hamster,” “When the Librarian Yelled Really Loud at Me,” etc.) on the back endpapers.

An engaging mix of gentle behavior modeling and inventive story ideas that may well provide just the push needed to get some budding young writers off and running. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 18, 2012

ISBN: 978-0761461807

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Amazon Children's Publishing

Review Posted Online: Aug. 22, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2012

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