Reviews for Human Footprint : Everything You Will Eat, Use, Wear, Buy, and Throw Out in Your Lifetime

Booklist Reviews 2011 July #1
Based on images and information from the National Geographic documentary Human Footprint, this large-format paperback offers photos showing what typical Americans will use of consume during their lifetimes, such as 3,796 diapers, 13,056 pints of milk, and 14,518 candy bars. Though fun for browsing and useful for motivating change, the book's information is limited. For instance, the double-page spread representing 28,433 showers with a multitude of rubber ducks doesn't tell how much water is used. Although most images directly represent the book's main theme, the "12 cars in your lifetime" photo illustrates a side issue: the parts of the world from which auto components are shipped to the U.S. The text is brief, but each double-page spread includes factoids to amaze readers as well as tips for kids motivated to limit their negative impact on the earth's resources. Source notes for facts are appended. Although other resources will be more useful for school reports, few can match the visual impact of this colorful book. Copyright 2011 Booklist Reviews.

School Library Journal Reviews 2011 June

Gr 3-6--Kids hear about "carbon footprints,'" but Kirk's slim book shows exactly how big our "human footprint" is during a lifetime: 3796 disposable diapers for each baby (using 1898 pints of crude oil just to manufacture the liners); 12 cars (which have footprints for their own integral parts); 4376 loaves of bread, and 1055 pounds of sugar from candy bars. These statistics (garnered from the National Geographic Channel's presentation of "Human Footprint") and the clear color photos are startling evidence of our demands on our planet. The pages are busy, with text in different fonts, sizes, and colors superimposed on a full-bleed illustration on each spread. Sadly, the "What You Can Do" section offers a meager three hints: lower the thermostat, collect rainwater for car washing, and unplug electrical appliances when not in use, which may be outside the provenance of many kids (what's wrong with drinking tap water instead of wheedling canned sodas from Mom, for example?)--Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY

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