The Tindims and the Ten Green Bottles - Sally Gardner, ill. by Lydia Corry
Book three in this charming series following the adventures of miniature marvels, the Tindims: Captain Spoons, Mug, Jug, Brew, Skittle, Hitch-Stitch, Pinch and others, as they care for the environment and animals from their home (made of salvaged and recycled debris) on Rubbish Island.
In this adventure, they are joined by adventurer/explorer 'Tiddledim' who needs a song on the Bottlerama to welcome him back to Rubbish Island....but the Bottlerama is BUST!
Cue a quest to find ten green, glass bottles to make a new one, and along the way encounter a whale, various other characters and challenges, and deal with the Long Legs (humans) and Little Long Legs (children) as they go.
Following on from the first two books in the series - 'The Tindims of Rubbish Island' and 'The Tindims and the Turtle Tangle' - this story continues the strong ecological and environmental message, as the bottles the Tindims seek are recovered from various locations, and finally a 'Long Leg's' recycling bin - the Tindims commenting:
'Wow...we're always saying, "Long Legs, please don't throw your rubbish in the sea." Perhaps it's working. Your granny and grandpa are recycling. If more Long Legs know about us, even if they can't see us, maybe they will do the same...'
I really liked the magical, almost musical nature of the writing in this book. There was an Alice in Wonderland-type of feel in the almost-nonsense/whimsical way which it was written in parts (the names and songs and the Chapter summaries beginning: 'In which...' in particular). The tiny Tindims and their secret lives were also reminiscent to me of The Borrowers and other such classic children's tales (Gullliver etc.) of tiny folk and their hidden lives and adventures.
The books are written in a friendly and pacy style, and the font is clear and dyslexia-friendly, spaced out and easy to follow, whilst interspersed with fun and detailed drawings from daughter-of-the-author illustrator, Lydia Corry. I loved the nautical theme of many of the illustrations, being island-based myself, and the labelled diagrams, bug-hunt (readers are challenged to find them throughout the book), and suggestions for craft activities using bottle tops/recycled materials at the end of the book, too. Many a beach walk after reading this will be spent looking out for rubbish to tidy and clear, or treasures to take home!
I am thrilled that, as part of the blog tour for this book, I can include a special video about the book from author, Sally Gardner.
A fun and enjoyable read, with a serious underlying message about conservation and ecological awareness, this will delight young readers and hopefully inspire them to see, like the Tindims, that 'What is rubbish today is treasure tomorrow' and that 'There's nothing that can't be recycled'.
Thank you to Zephyr, Sally and Camilla at Willow Publicity for asking me to be involved with this blogtour, and for providing me with a copy of the book to review (all thoughts and opinions are honest and my own).
Published by Zephyr, the first three books in the series are available now, with the fourth due later this year. Find out more at https://headofzeus.com/books/9781838935726
Zephyr are on Twitter as @_ZephyrBooks
Author, Sally Gardner, is on Twitter as @TheSallyGardner, and her website is at sallygardner.co.uk
See more from illustrator, Lydia Corry, at lydiacorry.com
Review by Rich Simpson (@richreadalot) April 2021.