It’s best to urge your children toward environmental sensitivity as soon as they begin to understand the world we live in. After all, we'll be handing that environment over to them, so they'd best learn how to preserve and respect it.
Charlotte Middleton’s “Christopher Nibble” introduces the notion that excess consumption destroys the environment.
Christopher Nibble is a typical, everyday, teenaged guinea pig who loves to do all the stuff guinea pigs like to do: play football, surf the internet and munch dandelion leaves in various ways.
Review continues below.
Dandelion leaves are the favorite food in Dandeville where all guinea pigs love munching and nibbling this yummy delicacy. Everyone consumes and consumes thoughtlessly, living (they think) happily ever after, without a thought to the future.
Until, one day, dandelion leaves begin to run out.
They disappear from the shelves and the few remaining cost a fortune to order from the internet, so all Dandeville citizens have to make do with chewy, yucky cabbage instead. What a nightmare!
Christopher Nibble then notices something great: a single dandelion plant growing just outside his bedroom window. Instead of eating it he decides to preserve it, no matter how delicious it looks. He waters it every day, picking off the bugs. He puts a protective cover around it and waits until tiny seeds appear on the top of the dandelion.
Then, one day, Christopher carefully picks up the dandelion, carries it up to the hill and BLOWS… the seeds fill the air.
After some time, fresh dandelion plants grow and the people of Dandeville start munching again. As for Chistopher, he loves munching, but he loves growing dandelions even more. Hurray! Dandelion leaves are saved; as for other basic goods? Well, I am not sure…
Christopher Nibble strengths:
A decent read: nothing less. Seemingly a simplistic story, but one conveying exactly what it means to convey: overconsumption is bad. Should also be seen as a story preaching the merits of delayed gratification.
Room for improvement:
No memorable lines. I wish there were a great line from Christopher that summed up the book's ethos in such a way to remind kids of Christopher's message.