FICTION

One Little Bag: An ­Amazing Journey

Scholastic. Apr. 2020. 48p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781338359978.
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Gr 1-3–How far can one paper lunch bag really go? A little boy and his father purchase a flashlight one day, bringing it home in a small paper bag. The boy then uses the bag to carry his lunch to school, redirect the beam of his flashlight, and transport all kinds of things. As time goes by, the boy gets older, and the trusty paper bag goes along with him. Their journey continues as the boy enters college, meets his future wife, and welcomes a new life into the world. All the while, this hearty paper bag withstands its myriad uses and observes this family as it develops around him, ultimately returning to the earth from whence it came. Though there are no words in this story, its message is deeply profound. Before the title page, readers encounter a prelude that details the making of a paper bag from its beginnings as a tree. Cleverly, the illustrations are entirely in black and white except for what will become the brown paper bag. Nostalgia and love abound in this story, bringing tears to the eyes of readers of all ages with each detailed image. At the end of the book, the author explains his own paper bag story and how it transformed into this richly emotional tale.
VERDICT This is a compelling and emotionally resonant addition to Earth Day curricula, especially as an inspiration for reusing items as long as possible.

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