An Earth Day Celebration is a perfect occasion for youngsters to combine efforts to save the planet they will inherit. Together with her first-grade classmates, Abby, the lead character in Earth Day and the Recycling Fashionista! takes inspiration from her teacher, Mrs. Cranbrickle. “The earth is very large,” the teacher explains, “but we are running out of safe places to put our trash. We must find ways to conserve and recycle to help keep our earth clean.”
The class is infused with excitement as Mrs. Cranbrickle outlines their own celebration. They watch videos, read about air pollution, the plight of the polar bears, and planting trees and gardens.
As the class brainstorms about various Earth Day projects, Abby has a great idea. She is well known for unexpected results, like the time she “fixed” Nick’s lacrosse stick and when she transformed her dad’s shampoo into pink bubble bath. Her classmates tease her, but Abby perseveres to design a special outfit from recycled items. The outcome is less than she had hoped, and although the teasing persists, she studies and improves on her goal to become a “Green Fashionista.”
Suzanne Ridolfi has a degree in psychology and with her Abby’s Adventure Series hopes to give young people methods to cope with difficulties and build strong self-esteem. She gives explicit information in clear prose. Especially intriguing is Abby’s visit to a recycling factory to see how they melt down plastic bottles to make new materials. Dawn Griffin has a degree in Graphic Design and Illustration. Her drawings are vivid and her layouts vary in interesting ways. Important phrases such as Earth Day and recycled plastic bottles are in bold print; Earth Day promises made by the class are written on the leaves of a tree; completed projects are shown with each proud creator. Readers see a page of Abby’s journal: “Keep trying, ask for help. Believe in yourself.” Griffin’s pictures of bright-eyed, alternately perplexed, excited, and happy children bring confidence to youngsters who need to know that being different is okay.
Ridolfi and Griffin have created a fantastic book full of good ideas for adults as well as children, explaining problems and depicting concrete results. Parents and educators will find it of tremendous value when approaching discussions with children about one of our most important goals—preserving our planet.