Friday, April 22, 2011

Earth Day

How to Clean Your Room in 10 Easy Steps In honor of Earth Day, I am looking at books that address an area of the world where children can actually have an impact on the environment: 
Their Room. 

How to Clean Your Room in 10 Easy Steps by Jennifer LaRue Huget, illustrations by Edward Koren. Schwartz&Wade, 2010  (review copy provided by the publisher)

Edward Koren is the perfect choice to illustrate this 'how-to' book.  His sketchy, disheveled style fits the untidy girl in this story. She carefully enumerates the 10 steps "guaranteed to (pretty much) please Mom."  The first step  is to always wait until your mother uses all three of your names before starting to work.  The second step is to pull everything out of the closet and drawers and off the shelves.  She continues through the steps, unloading some of the mess on her little sister, dealing with dust bunnies, and stowing left-over pizza and moldy cups of milk. Huget's book will make parents shudder and children nod, knowingly. Grownups will recall the evasion techniques from their own childhood but sympathize with the screaming mother. Excellent.

Why Do I Have to Make My Bed?Why Do I Have to Make My Bed?: or, A History of Messy Rooms by Wade Bradford, illustrations by Johanna van der Sterre, Tricycle, 2011 (review copy provided by the publisher)

The age old question, "why do I have to make my bed? is addressed by one smart mother the same way the question has been answered since pre-historic times.  In answering her son's question, his mother reviews the kinds of chores assigned to previous generations of children.  A summary of the kinds of chores performed by kids,  by era and century, is included. In the end, there is just one reason for doing what parents ask.  Bradford delivers the line nicely.

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