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An Earth-Bot's Solution to Plastic Pollution
by: Russell Ayto
Kids Can Press, $17.99, 40pp
Published: September 2021

This is the story of Neo and how he's too busy playing his favorite video game to bother to clean his room, much to the chagrin of his grandfather.

Grandfather has told Neo that his room is an area of outstanding danger to nature with all the plastic he has lying around, especially since they live near the ocean, where one can see all the plastic and trash that has invaded its depths, but Neo doesn't really have time to listen, since his help is needed to save Earth by chucking cabbages at alien invaders on his video game.

One afternoon grandfather pops out for an astronaut reunion, leaving Neo a feather duster, a vacuum cleaner and a recycling bin and asks him to once again clean up his room. He's hoping for a miracle.

Not too long after grandfather leaves, comes the first tap tap tap at the door. Several different sea creatures stop by to ask for his help cleaning up the plastic pollution overrunning the ocean, but Neo is too busy chucking cabbages and saving the planet to take time out to help clean things up, but he's not averse to handing out the items that grandfather left him to clean his room. When the items don't work for the creatures, they return to take the matter up with Neo. 

Russell Ayto made the story fun for kids, as well as educational. I read this book to my two youngest grandchildren, ages 3 and 5. They didn't understand the full concept of the message the author was relaying, but they enjoyed the story and pictures and we had a lot of fun tap tap tapping on a table when one of the creatures knocked on Neo's door.

I plan to read it to my seven-year-old grandchildren next, I think they will enjoy it just as much, as well as understand the importance of helping to make a difference to save the planet from plastic pollution.

I liked the book and would happily read more stories by the author to my grandchildren. ~~ Dee Astell

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