What Can You Do with an Old Red Shoe?: A Green Activity Book About Reuse: Anna Alter
By Amanda Lynch, The Children’s Book Review
Published: April 6, 2009
By Anna Alter
Reading Level: Ages 4-8
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company (March 31, 2009)
April, as mentioned earlier, is National Poetry Month. It is also Earth Month, which is why I was excited to find that What Can You Do with an Old Red Shoe? contained tips on how to recycle objects around the house, as well as a cute poem featuring a different animal character at the start of each activity. Has your favorite shirt gotten too raggedy? Ben the Badger turns his into a pillow! Accidentally tear down a shower curtain? Fred the Gator turns his into an art smock! And who among us hasn’t experienced the plight of poor Jack the Bunny:
it was damp,
it was done–
a mere ghost of a blanket
made pale from the sun.
The fabric had worn,
a soft gauze to the touch.
Jack gave it a squeeze
for he loved it so much.
Unlike some craft books which contain activities that are a bit daunting, these are all simple and fun. Some do require the help of an adult, which is a great way to get the whole family involved in recycling. At the end of the book is a list of tips for recycling, all of which are kid-friendly. The last activity struck a chord with me as well: it suggests socially conscious ways of recycling “too many toys” by donating them.
Anna Alter is an art teacher, and was inspired to write this book based on her experiences with too much waste in the classroom. Her book is a great way to introduce young children to recycling and reusing!