Elevate Difference

Sandy's Incredible Shrinking Footprint

Struggling with the idea of how to teach your child about the concept of his or her environmental footprint? Who isn't! With young children being so literal, it's hard for them to think about how a footprint could be anything other than, well, a footprint. In steps (pun intended!) Sandy's Incredible Shrinking Footprint.

With interesting, creative fabric and wood sculpture art introducing us to Sandy, and her dog, we learn about her summers with her grandparents at the ocean. Her grandfather teaches her all about sea creatures, and Sandy loves to explore the beach. When she stumbles over some garbage, and begins to clean it up, she meets the "garbage monster" who is really not scary, but an older women who collects garbage. She shares some environmental words of wisdom with Sandy, and then Sandy is off to tell her family how they can reduce their footprint on the earth as well.

This book is simple, clear and not preachy. The illustrations give life to the story, and provide some clues for developing knowledge beyond the literal. For example, the pictures of the earth clearly illustrate what can happen to the earth if we don't take care of it, and what will happen if we do. Children can see and understand this.

I only wish there was a page filled with adult ideas for lessening our footprints and kid ideas for lessening their footprints. A resource page with these lists would be nice to review with a child. But, of course, you can generate those lists with your children, yourselves. We brainstormed some ideas after reading this book together with my three- and five-year-old girls. Perhaps doing this ourselves makes it more meaningful than if it was in the book in the first place.

Looking to teach environmentally responsible lessons and meaning through books? This is a great addition to your green book collection. And rest assured, this book wasn't created by using rainforest pulp, as I shared that many environmentally-themed books are. Sandy's Incredible Shrinking Footprint is printed on Forest Stewardship Council certified paper. A big thank you to Second Story Press for being a publisher that values the environment and minimizes its impact (or, shrinks its footprint! I couldn't resist). More publishers need to join you in this regard.

Cross-posted from Non-Toxic Kids

Written by: Katy Farber, June 25th 2010