Dinosaurs and all that rubbish by Michael Foreman (1972)

[Welcome to my week of Sophisticated Picture Books]

dinosaursIt was a surprise to discover that today’s picture book, with its strong environmental message was written in 1972. I’m not sure why, but I often think of environmentalism as being something that has developed with my generation. After a merry old wander through the internet here are some interesting facts.

  • The term environmentalism was coined in 1922
  • Some wildlife conservation laws were passed in the late 1800s
  • The first National Park, set up to protect iconic landscapes, was Yellowstone, established in 1872. (In New Zealand it was Tongariro in 1894)

Who knew!

A man stands on a hill and looks at a star. His determination to reach said star by building a rocket creates all sorts of environmental havoc. Factories are built, things are cut down, “smoke and fumes and waste and rubbish” pour out. Finally his rocket is finished and he is forced to launch from the top of a heap of rubbish, because nowhere clear is left.IMG_1389

The star turns out to be something of a disappointment so the man heads off to another star far away.

On earth the heat from the burning piles of rubbish wakes the dinosaurs who have slept deep below the surface for hundreds of years. Finally the green returns to the Earth.

The man in his rocket arrives back on Earth, unaware he has returned to his home planet. The dinosaurs are less than welcoming but establish some pretty clear ground rules. “It is all yours, but it is also all mine. Remember that. This time the earth belongs to everyone, not parts of it to certain people but all of it to everyone to be enjoyed and cared for.”

Beautifully illustrated and thought-provoking, I enjoyed this one a lot.

Check out Dinosaurs and all that rubbish at Auckland Libraries.

Or buy Dinosaurs and all that rubbish from Fishpond.


One thought on “Dinosaurs and all that rubbish by Michael Foreman (1972)

  1. It is an oldie but goodie. I read it years ago and enjoyed sharing it with my students. It has a great message. What a shame that more people don’t take notice of it (the message, that is). Thanks for reminding me of it. 🙂

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