Nibbles: A Green Tale by Charlotte Middleton. Marshall Cavendish. 2010. Copy supplied by publisher.
The Plot: The guinea pigs love to eat dandelion leaves. They love them so much no more are left. Hungry Nibbles finds the last dandelion growing outside his window. What is a guinea pig to do?
The Good: A guinea pig saves the day, I mean the dandelion! Nibbles goes to the library, reads up on dandelion care, and then spreads the dandelion seeds around town to restart the dandelions.
Nibbles explains to young children about limited resources and how to care for them. Nibbles doesn't give up eating dandelions; he just recognizes that replacements must be grown to balance all that are eaten.
While Nibbles will work for schools and story times about conservation, ecology and gardening, it's not a didactic message book. Told in bright and cheerful pictures, Nibbles has a dilemma (loss of his favorite) food and achieves both long and short term solutions that make sense.
What else? As is usual with animals in picture books, the guinea pigs stand in for children, playing soccer, wearing clothes, and dreading the dandelion replacement -- cabbage!
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© Elizabeth Burns of A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy