Ruth Ann Smalley, Author
Jennifer Emery, Illustrator
Tilbury House Publishers, Fiction, April 2011
Suitable for: Ages 5 and up
Themes: Energy Conservation, Green Living, Neighbors, Differences
Opening: Sheila lives next door. She’s friends with my little sister, Tina. Sheila asks lots of questions. She hangs over the back fence when we peg clothes on the line. “Why Don’t you drop those in the dryer? Did it break? Sheila asks.” “This is our solar dryer, Sheila. The clothes get dry without using any electricity.”
Synopsis: Sheila follows her neighbors through the seasons when they plant a garden and grow their own food, mow the lawn with a push mower, brew sun tea, ride bicycles to the farmer’s market to buy local food, mulch trees and plants with leaves, and use a wood burning stove to warm the house. She finds their lifestyle interesting, but unfamiliar and weird. But, Sheila enjoys the home-grown meals made with fresh vegetables and playing with Tina in front of the fire. Perhaps they are weird in a good way.
Why I like this book: What a great way to introduce kids to energy conservation! Ruth Ann Smalley, is a holistic educator that writes about green living. She won a Moonbeam Bronze Award for Picture Books for her book. Living green can be a tough subject for kids who are used to modern conveniences. But, it is important. And Smalley has tackled the subject in a fun way.
Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book. To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Books.