Carbon Busters by Laurel Colless
The Carbon Busters books are a wonderful way to introduce children to conservation and environmentalism. The Ice Cream Factory, The Singing Dolphin, and The Grouchy Bear comprise the first three titles in the Carbon Busters series. The books feature Wanda, Chu, Peter and Riva, friends who save a group of baby trees and are awarded Earth Diva’s highest honor. They become the Carbon Busters, and are periodically whisked away by the Shooster and magically transported to the secret meadow where each eco-adventure begins. Together they travel on their clean, green Pulito scooters, which can surf, fly, or ski using nature’s energy.
Each book in the Carbon Busters series tackles a specific environmental issue facing our planet. The Ice Cream Factory deals with air pollution and solar energy. The Singing Dolphin takes on ocean pollution and environmentally friendly means of trash disposal. The Grouchy Bear deals with global warming and deforestation. But even though the topics are serious, Ms. Colless’s take is optimistic. She emphasizes the value of friendship, childhood imagination, adventure, and resourcefulness in her stories. She also draws very well-rounded, recognizable, unique characters. Peter, Riva, Wendy, and Chu are each lovable in their own way, and children will undoubtedly relate to one or more of the main characters as a reflection of themselves.
It is easy to see why Ms. Colless’s Carbon Busters books have garnered endorsements from such celebrity conservationists as actors Kaiulani Lee and Sam Waterston, as well as Ben and Jerry’s co-founder Jerry Greenfield. They’re bright and colorful—both textually and illustration-wise. They’re motivational. And they’re responsible. The Carbon Busters would make a wonderful addition to any eco-conscious family’s bookshelf.