Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Reduce! Reuse! Recycle! Charlie and Lola: We Are Extremely Very Good Recyclers created by Lauren Child

Little sister Lola is a devoted hoarder, er, collector, and her room shows it.

Lola loves keeping things. All kinds of things.

Boxes, old broken toys...just things.

That is, until she sees her friend Morton's brother Marty's room. It's a junky, smelly mess, and suddenly Lola sees her pack-rat future before her eyes.

"So, you see, Charlie, I do not ever want my room to look like Marty's. So I am throwing everything away," says Lola.

Well, here's where a big brother can help, because big brothers KNOW STUFF!

Charlie explains all about recycling, and before he knows it, Lola has become an expert on recycling, too. It seems that there is a contest which her class can enter, and if they can recycle a hundred objects in two weeks, they will get their very own free tree to plant. Lola quickly mobilizes the mission, motivated by a deluxe wall chart with a tree upon which each student puts a leaf as he or she brings in a recyclable plastic bottle or tin can. But sadly, as the deadline nears, the tree still has room for twenty more leaves, and it looks like Lola's class has failed their mission.

But just in time, Morton appears with a hugh pile of stuff, which puts all the leaves on the tree and the class over the top in their endeavor.

Then Marv whispers to Morton, "Where DID you get all that?"

And Morton says, "MARTY'S BEDROOM!!"

Charlie and Lola: We Are Extremely Very Good Recyclers (Charlie & Lola), (Dial, 2009) taken from Bridget Hurst's script for a show in the Charlie and Lola television series, is a good introduction to recycling, with big brother Charlie patiently explaining to little Lola why it makes good sense for her and for the planet as well. Child's uniquely droll illustrations make this story appealing as well as educational, a perfect read aloud as an introduction to a unit on conservation.

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