Reuse, recycle, renew, and rethink!
Climb aboard the Topsy-Turvy Bus with Maddy and Jake as it travels around the country teaching communities the importance of taking care of the earth and creating a better, cleaner, healthier world.
Based on a real Topsy-Turvy Bus created by Hazon, the largest Jewish environmental organization in North America.
For Teachers & Librarians
Bring Anita into your classroom! View her presentation list.
Download classroom worksheets here:
(review request submitted by the publisher for an honest critique)
The Topsy-Turvy Bus is correct: “Our planet is dirty and messy.” Plastic bottles and garbage are littering our waters and our coastlines. The problem isn’t only the trash that plagues our seas. There’s also pollution from cars, fertilizers that taint our soils, and the adverse effects drilling and mining have on our environment. Earth is hurting, but how do we help it?
The children in the story don’t know what to do and discuss the issue when the most unusual bus rolls down the street. “Nobody had ever seen a bus like the Topsy-Turvy Bus. It was upside down and right side up, all at the same time. And it didn’t run on gasoline.” I’ve been behind trucks that smell like french fries from using recycled fast-food restaurants’ frying oil as fuel, but donuts—now, that’s a vehicle I’d love to travel behind or on!
The Topsy-Turvy Bus will inspire children to think outside the box and be creative in reusing, recycling, or repurposing things around their house and community. Maybe your family or school could make this a project.
Years ago, as a teacher, our school taught students the importance and value of starting a compost. Each classroom started and maintained one. I encourage you to read “Make Your Own Compost” and consider constructing one for your home or classroom. And as always, please reduce, recycle, and reuse.
Side note: I was shocked to realize the topsy-turvy bus was real. “You can find a Topsy-Turvy Bus in two locations in the United States. The first is in Connecticut, the second in Michigan. Both run on biodiesel fuel consisting of reusable veggie oil. The buses were created to teach kids how to recycle, rethink, reuse, and renew our world’s resources.” If I’m ever in those two states, I plan to hop aboard the unique and environmentally friendly topsy-turvy bus.
Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest)
About the Author
Anita earned an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from the Vermont College of Fine Arts (VCFA) and a Master Gardening degree from Michigan State University. She’s created picture-book workshops for kids of all ages, ranging from second graders to high school students. She’s presented lectures for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), VCFA, and The Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP). She continues to volunteer her time to several non-profit organizations including Hazon, dedicated to making the world a better, cleaner, kinder place for us all. Anita spends her free time training a rascally dog, named Finn, and playing in the dirt.