Amani Uduman (text) & Kera Bruton (illustrator), The Plastic Throne, MidnightSun Publishing, March 2021, 32pp., RRP $24.99 (hbk), ISBN 9781925227802
When Denver doesn’t want to eat his parboiled broccoli, he decides to flush it away. Realising he’s on to a good thing, he looks around for other annoyances and problems that need dealing with. Unfinished homework, old shoes, a lonesome sock and even his sister’s bicycle. Although he thinks that’s the end of it, his eyes are opened when his sister asks, ‘Don’t you realise everything ends up in the ocean?’ And that’s when things get serious.
Uduman’s book is a playful look at an important global issue and the link between our own toilets and sinks and the ocean itself. Denver thinks he has found a consequence-free way of ridding himself of his problems, but every action has an effect, usually negative. Uduman presents the consequences of the overflowing ocean as both exciting and as stressful – people are water-skiing but also sandbagging their homes. This would present a good place for thoughtful conversation with readers – who is taking the situation seriously and thinking of the future? Another place to ask this would be when Denver decides to start shooting his rubbish into space. Is this a viable option?
The Plastic Throne would appeal to younger readers and could work in a classroom space when studying decision-making and sustainability.
Reviewed by Madeleine Crofts