In this dense picture book/nonfiction hybrid, Bang (Yellow Ball) tackles the onerous task of explaining to young readers the environmental impact of toxic waste and its attendant disposal. The result is a tedious dissection of one man's experiments for cleaning up the poison sludge of Tennessee's Chattanooga Creek. Unfortunately the writing style and substance are at odds here. Bang attempts a lighthearted approach, but is bogged down by the necessary specifics of the science at hand. Her characteristically bold mixed-media collage-and-paint artwork proves as intriguing as ever, though it fails to add much spark to a dull discussion. Winged amphibian angels float throughout the pages, delivering asides and facts, creating a sort of humorless homage to Joanna Cole and Bruce Degen's Magic School Bus titles. Although the ecological topic is a worthy one, it wallows in this particular execution. Ages 8-12. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1996 Release date: 04/01/1996 Genre: Nonfiction
During the Covid-19 crisis, Publishers Weekly is providing free digital access to our magazine, archive, and website. To receive the access to the latest issue delivered to your inbox free each week, enter your email below.