Working on a school project his teacher calls "the Big Green Machine," Arthur finds many ways to save energy at home but frightens his little sister D.W., who thinks he and their father and Arthur's friend Buster might really be turning green. In a welcome new Arthur adventure (according to his publisher, the first in nearly 10 years), friends and family join Brown's beloved aardvark in becoming environmentally conscious. They are looking for "ways to make our planet a better place to live." Preschooler D.W.'s misunderstanding will amuse young readers who know better. Her nightmare of the Big Green Machine monster is pleasantly scary, and Arthur's green hands contribute to the joke. Arthur's friends discuss reselling old clothes, recycling soda cans and not wasting their food. Arthur himself finds appliances to unplug, lamp bulbs to change, lights to turn off and ways to save water. He sets the table with cloth napkins. His project poster includes 10 useful, unsurprising suggestions. The message is clear but not overwhelming in this gently humorous story. Brown's familiar, brightly colored cartoon illustrations (printed in soy inks on recycled paper) feature schoolmates and family members sufficiently well identified that a new generation of Arthur readers could start with this timely title. (Picture book. 4-8) Read full book review >
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