First Dog on the Moon, The Carbon-Neutral Adventures of the Indefatigable EnviroTeens, Allen & Unwin, December 2020, 304pp., RRP $16.99 (pbk), ISBN 9781760526122
Binky, aka The Monotreme (a mix of platypus and echidna), Worried Norman, aka Pastry Person (bitten by a radioactive croissant and can now harness the power of small cakes and other baked goods), and Letita, a genius but bossy wombat, are the superheroes known as the EnviroTeens. When they find out Singleuse Plastic Brendan’s evil plan to destroy all the world’s turtles they must fight to stop it. But they will soon realise there is something far more sinister and dangerous going on. Climate change! Together they will go to the ends of the earth (and even the moon) to try and stop this impending disaster. But can three teenagers and a chicken really save the entire world? And why aren’t adults doing anything about it? Only one way to find out!
This witty comic by First Dog on the Moon is absolutely brilliant. The story is very engaging and accessible for a wide range of ages, paired with simple yet effective illustrations. While being fictional and quite ridiculous this book is extremely educational and teaches the basic science of climate change and other environmental facts in a very fun and easy to understand manner. There is even a muffin recipe and glossary included!
I believe this book could be enjoyed by anyone over the age of eight years old, and everyone will take something different from it. Younger readers can learn a lot about the science and seriousness of climate change and be inspired to try and make a difference while enjoying the funny cartoons, while older readers may better understand the political commentary and metaphors that make it just as entertaining.
While it is written in a lighthearted way, this story covers some serious topics such as climate change, political corruption, climate anxiety and burnout. As a young climate activist, I found myself relating a surprising amount to the characters, their motivations and their struggles. I saw myself in these absurd characters more than I do in a lot of YA novels.
On top of all this, a proportion of the publisher’s profits will be donated to School Strike 4 Climate Australia, a fantastic youth climate action organisation fighting for climate justice just like the characters in this story.
I would highly recommend this incredible comic to anyone aged 8+, whether you’ve never heard of climate change or are a climate scientist, I think everyone can take something from this book.
Reviewed by Libby Boas