'Why should I recycle?' by Susan Meredith.
Other credits: Illustrated by Christyan Fox, Designed by Hannah Ahmed. Recycling advice by Dr Margaret Bates, Edited by Jane Chisholm, Photographic manipulation by John Russell, Additional advice by David Rumble.
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Click the book to go to Usborne[/caption]
When I pulled 'Why should I recycle?' out of the envelope, I was firstly impressed with the vibrant cover illustrations, depicting a conveyor belt of materials going through a reprocessing factory. The book's title asks the main question, but there are several others on the cover, my favourite for example is 'Will recycling save the planet?'. That's a big question.
I'd like to suggest that the reading audience for this non-fiction book is universal, as only a small amount of the content would challenge very young readers. Older readers who wish to gain a competent knowledge of recycling would do well to read this book, though I feel it is your children around the age of 9-12 who would benefit the most.
Susan Meredith has written an excellent informative piece here, being careful not to go into too much detail. The truth is that for a child, much of the further processes of recycling would be quite boring, and they'd lose interest. In a particular section about recycling plastic, I was surprised to see only a mention of PET, and none of the other plastic types, though this could reaffirm my previous statement about boring details. I read this book in one sitting without my interest being lost at any stage, and I owe that to the skill of the writer.
Some of my favourite sections include 'Why not bury rubbish?', 'Why not burn it?', 'What's reducing about?', 'Sorting the high-tech way' and 'Is plastic a problem?'. I was most impressed with the author's decision to go beyond recycling and look at reducing and reusing, two parts which were written in a friendly yet very educating manner. If I had a child, I'd encourage them to take life lessons from these sections, as they highlight the importance of keeping Earth's future in mind. The format of almost the whole book is question and answer, and it works really well, as all the right questions are asked and all the rights answers are given.
I'd be genuinely surprised if this book was not on primary school shelves all around the country, as it provides a comprehensive knowledge of recycling for a child. If that was Meredith's task, then she performed it diligently. I found the book to be interesting, informative and well written, with additional facts and suggestions that I hadn't considered before. Discussing incineration and landfill earns bonus points and I was pleased that there are some opinions and examples in the book about how we can be good to the planet. Children and adults alike could stand to gain an improved knowledge of reducing our environmental impact and the importance of recycling. Based on the high quality content, ease of reading, precision of detail, delightful illustrations and the usefulness of this book, I'm going to score 'Why should I recycle?' a 9/10.
To find out more about the book, go to this link