Plastic: Past, Present, and Future

Scribble. Apr. 2020. 36p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781950354061.
K-Gr 4–This book aims to make the topic of plastics accessible to a younger crowd. Beginning with a brief account of a wayward shipment of bath toys spilling into the Pacific Ocean and making their way across the globe, Kim uses a narrative nonfiction style. The text covers the history of plastic use, the ways plastics actually help the environment and humanity, their immediate negative impact, and ways to reduce plastic pollution. There isn’t a clear exploration of the future consequences of unchecked plastic use or an explanation of why change is necessary. The illustrations are bright and playful. Full-page art further enhances the story, while smaller frames or diagrams help describe how plastic is created, how toxic pollutants fill the air, and how to achieve recycling and reusing. Citations, a glossary, and other supplementary back matter are missing, but a list of ideas on how to use plastic more responsibly and a publisher-sponsored website that includes a teaching guide and online resources are available on the last page.
VERDICT An eye-catching addition to nonfiction collections serving elementary students, especially suited for beginning conversations on environmentalism. Also could be used to complement classroom curriculum.

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