Book Roundup: Sharing and Reusing

Photo by Rosanna Jackson

Photo by Rosanna Jackson

It’s easy to get distracted by everything that is shiny and new. Sometimes it’s nice to remind ourselves that simple things such as a cardboard box can be entertaining and that sharing or reusing things you already have can be fun and rewarding. The following books will help you share these ideas with your children. Happy reading!






Don’t Throw That Away!:

A Lift-the-Flap Book About Recycling and Reusing

Author: Lara Bergen and Betsy Snyder

Publisher: Little Simon (2009)

Age Level: 3 and up

Follow a pig-tailed super hero as she invites children to turn trash into treasures. “Do you see that old jar? Don’t throw that away! You can turn it into . . . a new vase!” Whether turning a jug into a bird feeder or a cardboard box into a speedy car, we learn that reusing and recycling common household items can be fun.



Joseph Had A Little Overcoat (Caldecott Medal Book)


Author: Simms Taback

Publisher: Viking Juvenile (1999)

Age Level: 3 and up

When Joseph’s favorite overcoat is full of holes, he turns it into a jacket. When the jacket is covered in patches, he turns it into a vest. The cycle continues as each of Joseph’s items gets worn out. Children will enjoy turning the colorful, die-cut pages and guessing at what Joseph will make next. The twist in the story comes when he loses the very last piece of his overcoat and yet is still able to make something out of nothing.



Not A Box


Author: Antoinette Portis

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers (2006)

Age Level: 3 and up

Be transported into the imaginary world of a small rabbit and his box. But it’s not really a box. It’s a mountain, a burning building, a hot air balloon and more. Through simple line drawings, we see the rabbit standing on the box, spraying the box and sitting in the box. The adventures of the rabbit and his box are limitless. Children will be begging for their own cardboard boxes after reading this book.



I Had A Favorite Dress


Author: Boni Ashburn

Publisher: Abrams Books for Young Readers (2011)

Age Level: 4 and up

With a “snip, snip, sew, sew,” a mother reinvents her young daughter’s favorite dress into smaller and smaller pieces of clothing as she grows. The dress becomes a new shirt, a tank top, a skirt, and so on until all that’s left is a fond memory. During the dress’s transformation, the young girl realizes that nothing lasts forever but favorite things can be changed and used again.



The Spiffiest Giant In Town


Author: Julia Donaldson

Publisher: Puffin (2005)

Age Level: 4 and up

George is the scruffiest giant in town. When he treats himself to a new outfit, he becomes the spiffiest giant in town. On his way home, he meets a series of animals in need of help. Bit by bit, George gives away each piece of new clothing until he is shivering with cold and has to retrieve his old clothes. Happily, George’s new animal friends reward him for his kindness at the end of the story.



Too Many Toys


Author: David Shannon

Publisher: Scholastic Inc. (2008)

Age Level: 4 and up

Spencer has too many toys! He has toys from his birthday, the dentist, his drive-thru meal and from every relative for every holiday. He loves them all, even the filthy and broken ones. His mom, on the other hand, thinks it’s time to give some of them away. After a long day of tough negotiations, Spencer manages to fill a box with toys. The surprise at the end is when Spencer tells his mom she can have all of his toys because his favorite toy of all is the box itself!

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