King Leonard enjoys a decadent lifestyle and whenever something he owns breaks, he discards it and buys a new replacement. Soon, he has a large pile of discarded objects outside his castle. One evening, his favourite teddy falls apart and he has no choice but to search the town for someone who can mend it. Unfortunately, like Leonard, the townspeople are in the habit of throwing away broken things and no one is able to help. Will Leonard find a way to fix his friend, or will he have to add his teddy to the heap of rubbish by the castle?
In spite of being overtly preachy about recycling, this story is told in a way that will be appealing. The vibrant and playful illustrations are engaging and I appreciate the lessons about the dignity of work and the satisfaction that comes from production over consumption. At the end of the book, many opportunities to reduce, reuse, and recycle are enumerated, helping readers open a discussion about what changes they might make.
There’s not too much to love about this book. Some may really value a book that teaches children about reducing waste. I absolutely believe we need to take hefty measures to protect our resources, our air, and our environment, but I think I’d prefer to find other ways to teach my children the importance than this book. The message waste reduction message is at the heart of the resolution, and because the focus is on pushing awareness the story alone doesn’t have a lot of staying power.