This review is part of the Green Books campaign. Today 100 bloggers are reviewing 100 great books printed in an environmentally friendly way. Our goal is to encourage publishers to get greener and readers to take the environment into consideration when purchasing books. This campaign is organized by Eco-Libris, a a green company working to green up the book industry by promoting the adoption of green practices, balancing out books by planting trees, and supporting green books. A full list of participating blogs and links to their reviews is available on Eco-Libris website.
Hope and the Super Green Highway by Helen Moore and Louise Rouse
Children 7-11, however, adults will love it too! Eleven chapters with illustrations, 94 pages.
Throughout this story, everything about how this family lives is eco-friendly. They get their power within the house by riding a bicycle. Imagine, bicycle power to run the computer and more! When they need a car, they use a Go Car, and they trade in “carbon rationing” points for cash.
“In this story, the world has agreed to introduce a tax on carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere and so by cycling to the market and cycling or taking a walking bus to school or work, Hope’s family had more carbon rations than they needed, so their first stop was the ‘Ice Cap X-Change.’”
This story, which takes place in the UK, begins with a family out shopping for groceries at the local market. They have a chance encounter with a Red-eyed Tree Frog. What is a Red-eyed Tree Frog doing in the UK? You’ll have to read the book to find out. The next day they take the Frog to an amphibian specialist, at their local zoo.
Back at home, Hope is fascinated with the Red-eyed Tree Frog, and is curious to know more about him. She begins surfing the web and learns that he comes from the rainforest. She discovers an educational site where children can write their own stories and is asked about her favorite animals. The site then creates a story just for her.
Looking further she finds a page where kids have loaded their profiles and are looking for pen-friends. She sees a boy named Juan from a rainforest reserve in Paraiso Verde, Costa Rica, who is holding a Tree Frog. She writes to him and he writes back telling her about his search for the Golden Toad which has disappeared along with other species due to climate change. Hope and Juan continue to correspond and become friends.
Juan and Hope’s surroundings are so completely different and over the next few days and weeks, they will send each other stories and photographs, so they can share what the rainforests, woods, birds, and wildlife look like near each of them. Hope’s first trip to the nearby woods with her Grandmother, isn’t a pleasant experience. They see piles of trash, motorcycle riders who shouldn’t be there and dead Toads who were run down by speeding cars, as they were trying to cross the road.
The Grandmother decides the neighborhood needs to form the group “Friends of the Woods” to clean up and protect the woods and wildlife. She asks Hope to paint a sign and together they put it up. It says, “Watch Out! Slow Down! Toads Crossing the Road!”
What happens next starts Hope on a wonderful and educational journey about rainforests, the woods, her place in nature and how she can make a difference. She realizes that by cutting down woods for development, and sectioning off wooded areas, wildlife have no way to move freely from one area to another. My favorite quote from the book is, “Even people are part of Nature, although they don’t always act like it.”
This wonderful, engaging story written by Helen Moore, with illustrations by Louise Rouse is thought-provoking and shows what the effects of massive development are to plant life, birds and woodland creatures. By leaving only a square block (park) with a few trees, surrounded by buildings, here and there, we’ve cut out nature from our everyday lives. Now we have to travel to see “nature.”
Hope and the Super Green Highway, by Helen Moore and Louise Rouse is published by Lollypop Publishing, a small independent book publisher based in the West Midlands, England, that specialize in both children’s and reference books on environmental, social and sustainable transport topics. It is their policy to use products that are recyclable and renewable, made from wood from sustainable sources. This book is printed on FSC-certified paper.
For those who enjoy “Hope and the Super Green Highway”, I’ve read another book by Helen Moore and Louise Rouse called “Hope and the Magic Martian.” A charming book about a martian coming to Earth, and befriending Hope. After taking her to the north pole to learn about the animals in that region, he helps her understand how she can make a difference to global warming by just passing along good ideas to her friends, teachers, parents…