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Nibbles: A Green Tale

Nibbles: A Green Tale

by Charlotte Middleton

The dandelions are disappearing, so Nibbles must learn to grow his own


The dandelions are disappearing, so Nibbles must learn to grow his own

Editorial Reviews

New York Times Sunday Book Review (Children's Bookshelf)
This eco-fable gets a lift from cheerful mixed-media illustrations and cute guinea pig characters (they seem to have real tufts of wiry fur and wear brightly patterned outfits). When dandelions, the guinea pigs' favorite food, begin disappearing, munched to "nothing more than bitten-down stalks," it's up to Nibbles to rescue the last plant so new seeds can fly through the air, nearly 3-D, on a beautifully evocative spread.
Children's Literature - Mary Hynes-Berry
Nibbles is just one of the many guinea pigs of Dandeville whose favorite food is dandelions. But as the whole population chomps away, the dandelions dwindle until only one is left beneath Nibbles' window. Nibbles seeks advice on the Internet of course but also finds tips in a library book about the importance of taking care of this last specimen so that it can flower and go to seed—giving rise to a new crop. But Nibbles has learned an important lesson that young readers can take to heart—growing plants can be as much fun as eating them. Middleton's illustrations are charmingly graphic. She combines some collage with drawings and plays with the fonts. Little dandelion seeds float over the background on several of the pages. In the end, Middleton successfully conveys her "green" message with a light touch. Reviewer: Mary Hynes-Berry
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—A guinea pig loves dandelions, just like everyone else in his town. The plants are eaten for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and all snacks in between until they slowly disappear. Then everyone is forced to eat chewy cabbage. Luckily Nibbles discovers a lone dandelion survivor growing under his bedroom window. With great patience and the help of a library book, he cares for his secret treasure until it has a full head of billowy white seeds. Then, from the top of Daisy Chain Hill, he blows the precious seeds all over Dandeville, which is soon awash in tasty treats again. Now Nibbles has two hobbies, soccer and growing dandelions in lovely raised beds. Middleton's tale of overconsuming and scarcity is direct but not preachy. Using a bold font for emphasis, the text is simple and age appropriate, but the mixed-media illustrations steal the show. A photo of a cabbage is combined with drawn elements such as insects. The library scene is full of humorous book titles that will elicit chuckles from young and old. Every page features something that draws the eye in for a closer look. A great tie-in with gardening or plant conservation, or just an enjoyable read.—Catherine Callegari, Gay-Kimball Library, Troy, NH
Publishers Weekly
“Every guinea pig in Dandeville loved dandelion leaves,” including this story's hero, Nibbles. When leaves run scarce, Nibbles finds one last dandelion growing outside his bedroom window and decides to protect it. After it's grown, he blows the seeds and plants begin to sprout, resulting in “the happy sound of munchingonce more.” Middleton's free-spirited mixed-media illustrations—Nibbles has dimensional whiskers and wears green, floral-print shorts; a “chewy” cabbage appears in photo-collage—keep this allegory about consumption lighthearted. Ages 4-8. (Apr.)
Kirkus Reviews
Like all the other guinea pigs in Dandeville, Nibbles loves dandelion leaves, eating them for every meal until they've nearly disappeared-there's only one left! Resourceful Nibbles goes to the library, finds a book and learns how to grow them to ensure a sustainable supply. This is a simple story with a message that is delivered gently and with good humor. Middleton's mixed-media collages will delight readers, who can look for the differences in the nearly identical guinea pigs on the endpapers, find actual photographs of dandelion leaves and flowers, cabbage, animal fur and good garden dirt, and maybe even laugh out loud. (Don't miss the guinea pig shopping on the Internet.) Teachers and librarians will be especially pleased that this computer-savvy protagonist solves his problem by reading "very carefully," and they will applaud the self-control that keeps him from eating his dandelion before its flower turned to seeds. Published as Christopher Nibble in the United Kingdom in 2009, this should please readers on this side of the Atlantic as well. (Picture book. 4-7)

Product Details

Amazon Childrens Publishing
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
9.60(w) x 9.70(h) x 0.30(d)
Age Range:
4 - 7 Years

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