Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

What is recycling? Why and how should we do it? Romer, a lawyer, Environmental Protection Agency administrator, and plastic bag foe, published a comprehensive and well-received guidebook to recycling for adults in 2021. Now she and her illustrator return with this lively edition aimed at young readers. In a conversational voice, she explains the need for recycling—to conserve natural resources and avoid contributing to our garbage problem. Romer clearly explains the process, describing the procedure and equipment used in big recycling centers. Even with all the sorting and smashing, not all the potentially recyclable materials will be reused—a business must want to buy them. In order for the plastic to be reused, the materials will need to be melted, extruded into strips, and cut into tiny pieces called nurdles, the basis for new plastic things. Finally, Romer provides extensive examples of what can and cannot be recycled, depending on the facility, and what readers might use instead of single-use plastic. Here, she returns to her long-running campaign against plastic bags. Plastic bags recycled at grocery stores do have a market, but her advice to bring your own bag is still sound. All of this is engagingly illustrated with Young’s amusing spot images; the depictions of anthropomorphized bottles, cereal boxes, and other items brim with personality. There are plenty of books about recycling for this audience but few with such instant appeal. (This book was reviewed digitally.) Robust material to get the next generation of environmentalists on the right path. (author’s note, further resources, glossary) (Informational picture book. 5-9) Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Publishers Weekly
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Romer gets into the nitty-gritty of recycling with this kid-friendly picture book adaptation. Matter-of-fact text explains why recycling matters, describes the fascinating machines and technology that make it happen, and details specifics around what can and can’t be recycled. Set against plain white backdrops, Young’s animated mixed-media doodles keep things bright, visualizing trash that frequently speaks up via speech bubbles. “Yay! Recycle us,” say paper materials; “We wish we could be recycled, but we can’t,” comment a baby food pouch and some plastic cutlery. Romer further highlights the need for eco-friendly laws and policies, placing the responsibility for action not just on individuals but on companies. “Find out more” callouts, highlighted glossary terms, and supporting back matter amplify the work’s educational value. The overall result is an engaging springboard for environmental stewardship. Ages 4–8. (Mar.)

Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Have you ever finished your lunch and, as you’re ready to throw away your trash, wondered, “Can I recycle this?” This is a great, simplified manual to answer that question and more. Romer is an environmental lawyer and a leading expert on single-use plastic reduction and reuse in the U.S. As she’s done for adult readers, here she offers children an accessible breakdown of the what, why, and how of recycling. Romer adopts a conversational tone while incorporating just the right number of specifics as she walks readers through common recycling dos and don’ts and the general journey of an item placed in a recycling bin. Young’s childlike artwork includes smiling bottles and cans (which provide speech-bubble commentary), and helpful diagrams show objects moving through a recycling plant as they are sorted, squished into bales, and—in the case of plastics—sent to an extruder to become every child’s new favorite word: nurdles! Back matter includes an author’s note, glossary, and a thoughtfully curated list of additional resources that features a documentary, literature, and website recommendations, as well as the suggestion to tour one’s local recycling facility. A fun and incredibly useful introduction to reuse and recycling.