This third entry in the Kenya series continues the practice of turning drab school assignments into intriguing adventures. This time the students in Mrs. Garcia’s class are asked to report on what they did over spring vacation. Kenya’s mom has asked her to get rid of her old toys, but she hasn’t, nor, she realizes, has she done much of anything over break. Kenya’s father takes her to a museum, where they encounter a nice twist on the Recycle, Reuse, Reduce exhortation in an exhibit called “Recycle! Reuse! Make Art!” The tour guide shows them a quilt, explaining how this is both a beautiful and practical reuse of discarded fabric. Then they see a mobile made out of used bottles recycled into art. Inspired, Kenya repurposes her broken toys into both useful and decorative objects, and she wows the class with her broken-toy sculpture. The bright watercolors amp up the action in this artistic take on sustainability.
School Library Journal Xpress Reviews
Kenya’s class has been given an assignment to complete over the spring vacation. The children need to write a report about what they did over the break. Everyone seems to have done something fun or special while on vacation, except Kenya. She hasn’t taught a puppy a new trick, learned to play an instrument, or even gone to soccer camp. Kenya feels like she won’t have anything interesting to write about. Her father suggests that they go to the museum and learn something new. At the museum, Kenya learns about recycling and reusing items. When she sees an interesting display made out of old plastic bottles and colorful streamers, Kenya becomes inspired to create her own “thingamabob.” This also motivates her family to form their own works of art with old objects from around the house. When Kenya returns to school, not only is she excited to share her information but she is also eager to teach everyone how to make their own thingamabobs. The colorful cartoon illustrations are a combination of digitally overpainted watercolor and graphite. The text and art are earnest and purposeful about recycling, reusing, and making art. VERDICT An additional title for Earth Day and environmental units.