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The Tindims of Rubbish Island

Written by Sally Gardener & Illustrated by Lydia Corry

Zephyr Books – 3rd September 2020

Tiny people with the titanic task of saving our seas in the war on plastic.

This is the first in a new series of Early Chapter books with a conservation theme at the heart. The Tindims are recyclers. In fact they were recyclers “well before the word had even found a plastic bag to crawl out of.” Captain Spoons, Mug, Jug, Brew, Skittle and friends have built Rubbish Island entirely from rubbish that the ‘Long Legs’ (us humans) have thrown away. With driftwood kitchen tables, plastic-cup chairs and bubble wrap coats, The Tindims are masters of re-purposing. Their motto is ‘rubbish today, treasure tomorrow’ but now the sea is so full of plastic bottles, The Tindims are beginning to question whether they can still call them treasure.

The Tindims made a pile of plastic bottles that soon became a mound and then a hill but now that hill is a mountain. Bottle mountain is a stark reminder for all of us of how our wonderful planet is being piled high with plastic and the problem is just growing and growing.

Rubbish Island roams the seas, bobbing about freely in the waves and it’s up to Captain Spoons to steer its course, but bottle mountain is blocking the view of the sea. With the annual Brightsea Festival just days away, will the Tindims be able to navigate to warmer waters in time to celebrate?

Just when they think all is lost, The Tindims fish a rather exciting piece of ‘treasure’ out of the ocean that can help them get the island moving again. But this triggers a disastrous chain of events and their opera-singing, fish rescuing friend Ethel B Dina gets blown out to sea. They must call on the help of a marvellous marine mammal to help with the rescue.

The Tindims show our youngest readers in a friendly and accessible way the small steps they can take to protect our planet.The junk modelling suggestions at the end of the book, including ‘how to make your own Tindim’ are a great ‘take-away’ from the story and a no-cost craft activity that little ones will be begging their parents to help with. They would also make fantastic projects in a Key Stage 1 classroom to undertake alongside reading the book.

Phillip Reeve fans will find equal appeal in The Tidims of Rubbish Island – young readers who loved ‘Oliver and the Seawigs’ will enjoy this illustrated ecological marine adventure. The inventive story-line and highly engaging and detailed illustrations from mother and daughter duo Sally Gardner and Lydia Corry is a winning combination and I look forward to roaming the oceans on Rubbish Island once more in the next environmentally friendly adventure with The Tindims.

With thanks to NetGalley and Zephyr Books for providing me with a digital copy of the book to review in advance of publication.

3 thoughts on “The Tindims of Rubbish Island

  1. Your review has totally sold this book to me and I’m adding it to my library wish list. I love Sally Gardner’s imagination, my youngest was a huge fan of the Fairy Detective Agency series when she was younger; I hadn’t realised that she had a new series starting so really appreciate your review.


    1. Thank you for the lovely comment!
      My children are at the age where these are the type of books that are going to become our staple.
      Thank you for recommending Sally Gardener’s Fairy Detective series, I’m definately going to investigate for my daughter.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I will be buying this to read to my grandsons who have started to have an interest in helping the environment


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