Title: Operation: Reuse It!
Author: Sabbithry Persad
Concepts: child schooling and work, goods, natural resources, producers/consumers, wants/needs
Review: When playing soccer at the park, Peter and his friends stumble upon Mr. Ogilvy’s house and find a treasure trove of unused items that could be repurposed. The children offer to help Mr. Ogilvy clean out his house by finding new homes for his unwanted things. After it has all been donated, exchanged, or sold, Mr. Ogilvy has space again for an art studio and the community has benefitted from the acquisition of useful items. The old adage “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” couldn’t be seen clearer as the library obtains books, the community center acquires sporting goods, and so on.
Young readers will learn about reusing in an engaging matter as the story unfolds and the children think of creative ways to find new life for Mr. Ogilvy’s old stuff. Every page of this book is chock-full of information, including definitions for specific reusing terminology such as upcycling, reclamation, adaptive reuse, etc. On each spread, there’s the main text of the story as well as sidebars offering facts and ideas about the reuse of items. The supplemental materials at the back of the book provide various questions and activities that could be used by parents or educators to further augment the lessons contained in the story.
Within the larger context of re-using materials to lessen negative environmental consequences, the book also highlights economic points. For instance, a useful bit of information provided is that when donating goods to a non-profit, the giver may receive a letter for tax purposes.
Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children