I have loved doing this year’s GreenAge Christmas book review, mainly because they have given me free reign to choose the books to review, so I have picked a handful that I have been meaning to read for a while. All the books have an eco theme and they have all won various awards including the Winton Prize for Science Books (Gaia Vince was the first female to ever win this award).
I have chosen a mixture of adult and children’s books that are hopefully all educational as well as interesting. Each review points to areas of interest in the book meaning you can choose the perfect Green Christmas present for each member of the family.
I have given each book a score, which is based entirely on my opinion. I would love to get some of your own views on the books. Our aim is to get our own GreenAge book club going over the next few months whereby any new books or indeed any older books that have escaped us can be reviewed by readers to share the word…..This can include anything with a green angle, fact or fiction and for any age.
The first collection of books are as follows:
- Spud Goes Green; Thaxton, Giles
- This Book Is Totally Rubbish; Bolger, Maggie
- Adventures in the Athropocene Vince, Gaia
- The Sixth Extinction; An unnatural history Elizabeth Kolbert
- Solar; Ian McEwan
- Sustainable Energy – without the hot air; David MacKay
So without further ado lets get started!
This is aimed at 7+ year group although might work for some younger children. It is written in diary format and describes a years adventure between spud and his neighbour Adi as they discover a greener lifestyle.
As Spud records what he has been getting up to over the year he gives the reader some great ideas to try to become more environmentally aware. This includes cardboard bird houses, how to grow your own vegetables and some more serious energy saving tips that will make the bill payers happy.
I think it would appeal to creative children who enjoy getting their hands dirty. Some of the activities will need an adult- for example there is some ways to dye clothes requiring boiling water to get the colours to set.
Overall Score 7/10
This book succeed in introducing children to a greener lifestyle along with an understanding of where our energy comes from. The ideas for the activities are entirely doable. The language is quite basic and there are lots of jokes that would appeal to ten year old boys!
This is aimed at 5+ age group, although could be used for much older children as the activities would appeal to most children (and their parents!). A must have to all parents and teachers of young children. Packed full of great activities to keep them entertained with the underlying theme recycling unwanted goods.
We tested a few of these at home with my own daughter and her friends who loved them! It also was an eye-opener to us that children definitely don’t need all singing-and-dancing expensive toys. A cardboard box, a few colours, glue and all that old Christmas wrapping paper plus your own time can keep them happy for hours. Not only that, they keep returning to the objects they have made over the next week with a sense of pride- not something you get when they are playing with a plastic bought toy!!
Overall score 8/10
This for me is the perfect children’s Christmas stocking filler for children aged from two till ten. Some of the ideas start to feel a little repetitive but on the whole there is enough in the book to cover a few months of rainy days. It has also got us all thinking about what else we can do with some of our rubbish instead of binning it immediately.
Both my husband and I realised that in the last five years we have adopted a truly throw away culture….something we weren’t exposed to as children. Getting young children to understand the importance of this seems obvious now but we hadn’t thought about it prior to reading this.
Think we missed something? Do you have a different opinion?
Comment below to get your voice heard…