This first book in a planned series is a lighthearted fable with an unmissable environmental message. The Green brothers live a sustainable lifestyle in Tintown, "a dirty, noisy place" where freeways and parking lots have obliterated rivers and streams. The three rats make (rather than buy) what they need, grow their own food, reuse their bathwater, and have a composting toilet. They're cheerful, unlike the town's other residents, who are "perpetually dissatisfied," despite all the gadgets they own. Leading the consumer pack is wealthy Ethel Misrington, who despises the Greens and vows to make them "an offer they can't reuse!" When she enlists the mayor to evict the Greens to make way for a big box store, they contest the plan and, in a humorous sequence poking fun at bureaucratic ineptitude, are shunted from one town office to another. The brothers get a chance to save the day, though, leading to rapid environmental conversions across town. Summersgill's stylized line drawings give Tintown's fairly one-note residents quirky personality, and the story's levity keeps it from being too moralistic. Ages 7–11.
Reviewed on: 02/18/2013 Release date: 11/01/2012 Genre: Children's