What It Is
A 5,000-year-old pine tree named Orinda is growing weak due to pollution. Her very last pinecone is her only hope to help create new pine trees. When it is stolen by the evil “Grimy”, Orinda’s branches magically grow and stretch around the world, pulling in eight unsuspecting animals to help her. The animals are doubtful that they can help rescue Orinda’s treasured pinecone, but with Orinda’s simple touch, they are given special powers. Their fur turns green and a “Greenzys” heart appears on their chest. Like a band of superheroes, “the Greenzys” follow a trail of clues that lead to Grimy and the pine cone. Along the way, the Greenzys must use their special powers to remove polluted obstacles. For example, Willow the elephant uses his mighty trunk to blow an oil slick away. When they finally rescue Orinda’s pinecone, she begins to grow again, the rivers start to run clear, and a new sapling grows at her side.
Why It’s Fun
Danielle Mentzer’s story reads like a fairy tale and the Greenzys characters are very sweet. The illustrations were created digitally, giving the setting and characters added realism. Raising eco-conscious children is very important and this book can be a nice introduction. There are some “Greenzys Green Tips” featured in the back of the book, but it would have been a more effective teaching tool if they had been worked into the story. It appears that this title is intended to be the first in a series. If there are future Greenzy books, it would be nice to see them travel to different locales and explore a single topic, such as recycling, a bit deeper to give kids more useful information.
Who’s Going To Love It
The story is a bit long and could be simpler, as it has eight Greenzys characters to introduce. However, the illustrations and characters are charming and early- to mid-elementary school kids should find it entertaining. In all, it’s a fun book for the classroom or home. A line of plush toys representing the animals is also available and www.greenzys.com has more “green” information. With the purchase of each plush toy, parents can register for a tree to be planted in their child’s name which is a nice touch.
About 6-8 minutes
7 out of 10
By: Danielle Mentzer, Illustrated by Cris De Lara
Published by: Dorling Kindersley (2010)
Approximate retail price: $17.99
Publisher’s recommended ages: n/a