Aimed at kids ‘from 8-80’ How To Turn Your Parents Green is a book for a future generation of eco warriors. Presenting the challenge to be green as a battle of the Greens versus the Groans (ungreen adults) the book urging children to become green by fining their parents if they’re not environmentally-friendly.
But it’s more than that, it tries to put the pester power that kids have to good use – turn it away from sweets and candy to switching off the tap and buying local food. And it does this with the help of humorous phrases and great drawings by Øivind Hovland.
Although I make the ludicrous age range for this book, I’m admittedly quite a bit older than those it’s really aimed at. So at first the phrases ‘Ghastly Global Warming’, Hellish Halogens’ and other similarly alliterate and capital lettered ones got on my nerves. But after a while I got used to it and ‘Lazy Train to Chubville’ got me smiling.
While humorous, the book is also informative and it does this cleverly by asking questions but then often making up one of the answers just to make you smile. It nicely explained what a leachate is (rubbish sludge mixed with rainwater) and other facts are presented simply and in a way that a child could easily relate to a parent.
The explanations of subjects like importing fruit from abroad or having a standby button on the TV show how ridiculous they are and that the reader shouldn’t stand for such practices. Luckily it then tells you what you can do about them and gives examples of things done in the past – such as the boy who saved the Severn Beach railway line. Practical examples, goals and checklists make it almost an activity book and even inspired me to do more.
Apart from my initial problem of getting into the book, once you’re used to the style it makes an enjoyable and informative read for all ages. Aimed at kids changing their parents’ habits (fining them for using carrier bags etc), it also has useful tips for turning teachers green and also becoming a green citizen yourself.
Available at Green Books, How To Turn Your Parents Green costs £6.50, is 91 pages, is printed on Nine Lives recycled paper and published by Tangent Books.