Friday, April 19, 2013

PPBF: Bag in the Wind

April is National Poetry Month. Share your favorite children's poetry. I hope you'll join the discussion!

Earth Day is April 22nd. 

Celebrate with this tour de force (and first picture book)
 by former U.S. poet laureate Ted Kooser.

Title: Bag in the Wind
Author/Illustrator: Ted Kooser/Barry Root
Publisher/DateCandlewick Press/2010
Genre/Audience: Fiction/Ages 5+
Themes: recycling, waste, landfills, reuse, interconnectedness, ecology

Opening "One cold, windy morning early in spring, a bulldozer was pushing a big pile of garbage around a landfill when it uncovered an empty plastic bag."

Synopsis: (From Booklist)
"The life of a plastic bag in a landfill is extraordinarily uneventful and long—15,000 years, give or take a few millennia—but in this former U.S. poet laureate’s first picture book, a beige grocery bag serves an array of inventive uses in but a tiny sliver of that life span. Set against a barren plains landscape, Kooser’s circular story follows a plastic bag, “the color of the skin of a yellow onion,” as it travels in a chain of happenstance from landfill, to tree, to stream, and among the various citizens of a nearby town, including a young girl, a homeless man, and a shopkeeper. The muted, dappled colors of Root’s gouache and watercolor illustrations are a perfect complement to Kooser’s lengthy, meditative passages, which celebrate not only the virtues of economy and ecology but, moreover, the interconnectedness of all things. An excellent opener for discussions about creative reuse and recycling, the book concludes with an informational author’s note." --Kristen McKulski

Why I Love This Book
Not much is lyrical about trash, but Ted Kooser found a way to make a humble plastic bag the centerpiece of a poetic story with an ecological angle. Not only is it a commentary on recycling, but Kooser also weaves sustainable practices, like gardening, and social issues, like homelessness, into his web. It has a lovely cyclical form and a handy author's note at the end.

Now go and celebrate Earth Day!

Plastic Bag/Film Recycling Poster - Very helpful to see what can and cannot be recycled with your grocery bags
Interactives: Explore Recycle City and play the Dump Town game!

For more links to Perfect Picture Books, a collection of bloggers who contribute at Susanna Leonard Hill’s site, click here.


  1. I love the sound of this book! I'm pinning it so I can remember to get it for next Earth Day!
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  2. Laura, this book sounds wonderful! It really is unique and interests me. Many of us reviewed books for Earth Day, and each one was very different. Love that we have a nice list of books. Great choice!

  3. I saw this book the other day and was struck by the cover. I have it on my library list. Thanks for sharing it! Sounds like a great one for Earth Day!