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Teenie Greenies series: Book Review

Written By | Apr 14, 2014

SILVER SPRING, Md, April 13, 2014 – Earth day is upon us, and it is never too early to help little ones realize the role they play in maintaining our planet. To celebrate we have a pair of books in the Teenie Greenies series by Jan Gerardi.

The first is called The Little Composter and it is a lift-the-flap board book. It begins with pages featuring fruits and vegetable whole, but when the flap is lifted it shows just the part of the food that would be left after eating, the part that you would compost. Then a little boy joins us and tells us other things that can go into the compost bin and how to tend to it. The boy is rewarded with compost for the following year’s garden, which he tends to help his plants grow.

Eco People on the Go is also a lift-the-flap board book. This one talks about all the eco-conscious ways of travel from hiking and biking to taking a bus and carpooling.

Both books have attractive artwork and simple words, although The Little Composter delivers a more interesting story within its short narrative. While Gerardi makes a noble attempt to introduce environmental stewardship at a crucial young age, The Little Composter is more successful at meeting that goal. While The Little Composter succeeds at explaining what compost is and how it is used in a fun and understandable way for children.  Eco People on the Go! really is just a things-that-go book without any explanation as to why the people going in this book are “eco people.” By the lack of explanation as to why the people in the book are any different from the regular person who rides a bike or jogs, the book misses the mark for introducing a concept beyond simple movement. With no explanation, children will miss that the featured forms of getting from one place to another are environmentally friendly.

Teenie Greenies are well suited to toddlers and preschoolers. The simple words and bright colors are perfectly suited to short attention spans. Also, being board books they are more sturdy under the abuse of little hands. These stories would bore kindergarteners, so the best age range here would be 2-4.

Follow-up titles, The Little Recycler and The Little Gardener, have also been published.

Jan Gerardi has illustrated numerous children’s books, but the Teenie Greenies series books are the first ones that she has written as well.

The Little Composter (ISBN: 978-0375-85412-5) and Eco People on the Go! (ISBN:978-0-375-85413-2) were published on February 9, 2010 by Random House Children’s Books. They are available as board books.

Brighid Moret

Brighid is a freelance writer, mother and reader. She holds an MA in Writing from Johns Hopkins University. Find her on Twitter @BrighidMoret, or follow @BigReadsLittleH for the latest children's book reviews.