An Earth-Bot’s Solution to Plastic Pollution

Kids Can. Sept. 2021. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781525305382.
K-Gr 3–In this allegorical tale, plastic mess is a problem Neo is keen to ignore in favor of playing Space Cabbages. His only hope of victory is joining forces with Earth-bots to overwhelm the aliens in an onslaught of leafy missiles. Neo’s attention cannot be diverted from his game despite the pleas of several ocean-dwelling critters looking for help with the plastic pollution problem. Unfortunately, this title struggles to land in concept and design. The digital illustrations feature some objects and characters that are stylized beyond recognition, and the linear patterning of the plastic bottles is not easily interpreted as pollution. The video game premise feels dated; the parallels Ayto attempts to draw between video game and pollution will not resonate with the modern gamer.
VERDICT Though it has the best of intentions, this call-to-arms title doesn’t pack the punch it needs to inspire today’s youth to take up the cause. An additional purchase for those seeking to bolster their environmental sciences collections.

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