Pinch is a pack ratquite literally. While the others in his animal community tote their household overflow to a tag sale in the town square, this rodent can't part with any of the unused loot in his crammed house. At first he's lured into participation by the thought that making some money will allow him to acquire more stuff, but once he sees how much pleasure others derive from his castoffs and the good work that can be done with the money accruing in the communal pot, he not only clears out his personal stash, he gets his pack-rat relatives to join in as well. Now the money that would have purchased a new tree to beautify the neighborhood will stretch to a whole grove. Any listener who misses the blaring message on the glory of environmental responsibility has his head buried in a junk heap, but the story offers a relatively engaging and accessible way into a sometimes daunting concept. The art is rather overbusy and standardly cartooned, but the chipper, engaging mixed-media cast, the circus-bright colors, and the over-the-top heaps of identifiable recyclables provides plenty of visual interest to ease the moral on home. This could launch a classroom-or school-wide toy swap, or just set tykes to thinking about how a little tidying up can result in lots of shared pleasure and a bit of extra breathing room.
This cheerful community story illustrates all three parts of the environmentalists' mantra named in the subtitle. Pinch is a pack rat, in both behavior and species. His house is a temple to hoarding: objects spill from his windows, doors, gutters, and chimneyseven onto the street. When his neighbors invite him to join their tag sale, he declines: "I like all my stuff!" But after he realizes that there is money to be made at the sale, he wheels cartloads of junk to the town square, sells almost everything, and finds that he enjoys seeing others value his overlooked objects. A closing twist brings in Pinch's pack rat relatives for a community greening effort. Veteran author Kroll's well-paced text folds the recycling and reuse concepts into an enjoyable story that's greatly expanded in Cox's mixed-media, digital illustrations. Although the pictures have an overly processed, slick quality, the busy, bright compositions are filled with details that will invite kids back for repeated viewings of Pinch's overflowing house and his friendly, eco-minded animal neighbors.
*STARRED REVIEW* In this beautifully illustrated picture book, the main character, Pinch, is a major pack rat. he has so much "stuff" that things are hanging out the windows and overflowing into the yard. When his friends ask him to donate to a tag sale, he says he wants to keep his stuff. But when he sees how much money his friends are making, he decides to sell some of his treasures in order to buy more stuff. When he learns that the purpose of the sale is to use the money to buy trees Pinch is not too happy, but he starts to enjoy the neatness of his home. As he lies in bed enjoying his clean house, he hatches a plan. The next day all his relatives bring their things to sell so the town can buy a dozen trees. This adorable book will be perfect for talking to young children about recycling. The detail in the large pictures and the easy-to-understand story make this a must-have for elementary libraries and children's collections. Highly Recommended.
Pinch is a pack rat who has collected so much stuff that it's spilling out of his house. One day, his friends Bumper Bunny and Heddy Hedgehog decide to have a tag sale. Pinch does not want to participate because he is so attached to his things, but when he sees his friends making money from their sales, he changes his mind. He ends up selling all his things and feeling happy to see the other animals enjoying them. Then, he learns that his friends want to use the money they earned to buy a tree. Pinch is not sure about this purchase and decides to think about it. That night, he has an idea. The next morning, he asks all his relatives to bring their stuff for another tag sale, so they can buy a dozen trees. This book is a good choice for an environmental/ecological study. It includes tips on reducing, reusing, and recycling. The simple and warm illustrations add to the likeability of the characters and setting, showing how Pinch changes his life to beautify his town. Reviewer: Heidi Sohng
Pinch, a pack rat dressed in blue overalls and an orange scarf, lives in a house overflowing with "stuff." His friends convince him to join in a community tag sale, and he quickly sells everything. At first, he wants to buy more stuff but his friends persuade him to contribute his profits to help buy a tree to beautify the city. Colorful digital and mixed-media art shows animals dressed in clothes and behaving like humans. The message is positive, that one man's trash is another man's treasure, but students will not be entertained or enlightened by this purposeful offering.-Sandra Welzenbach, Villarreal Elementary School, San Antonio, TX
Pinch the pack rat is encouraged by his friends and neighbors to scale down his bursting-at-the-seams lifestyle and reform his pack-rat ways by donating unwanted items to the neighborhood tag sale. He's reluctant at first, but giving up some of his stuff proves easy once he realizes he can use the money from the sale to buy more things. Much to his surprise, however, his friends want to use the money to buy a tree for the neighborhood. Pinch hesitates and needs a night to sleep on it. Spending an evening in his clean house gives him a new idea and the community ends up with more than just one tree for its beautification project. Cox's illustrations are detailed without seeming as cluttered as Pinch's house. His mixed-media and digital technique has the appearance of line drawing with subtle texture. The bright, bold colors convey the friendly tone of the story and ably show the movement from cluttered to clean as Pinch relinquishes his possessions. An admirable introduction to beginning environmentalism for a young audience. (Picture book. 4-8)