Monday, June 1, 2009

Monday's Green books series: 20 Easy Ways to Help Save the Earth

Soccer is a great game and I used to play it every day when I was a kid. I love the game and therefore I enjoyed every page of our book today that got its inspiration from the (littered) soccer fields and is written by a soccer coach.

Our book today is:

20 Easy Ways to Help Save the Earth

Author: Coach Pedro and Susan Adam-Rita

Amarildo Pedro Rita was born in 1962 and has been playing high level soccer in Brazil and has being coaching youth soccer players in the United States since 1999. Currently he is the Director of Developmental Soccer Program in Ann Arbor, Michigan and author of The Magic Soccer Ball series plus The Boy and His Dream, A Great Soccer Tournament, and 20 Easy Ways to Help Save the Earth. Coach Pedro holds a bachelor degree in physical education and USSF “A” License

Susan Adam-Rita was born in a small city in Brazil where she lived for twenty-seven years. A psychologist in her home country, she continued to pursue her studies and currently is a PHD candidate in the counselor education program at Wayne State University. Susan lives with her husband, Pedro, in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Illustrator: Murilo Pruner

Ages: 4 - 8

Publisher: AuthorHouse

Published on:
December 2008

What this book is about? (from the publisher's website)
20 EASY WAYS TO SAVE THE EARTH is a book full of great ideas to put into practice that will help you change little things and have a great impact. The main reason for this book is to educate, inspire, and empower children to protect the environment.Written and illustrated in a fun way, Ways to Save the Earth is a book for the whole family to enjoy and share important ideas. We all share this EARTH, so let us take good care of it.

Why you should get it?
This is the first green children's book I read which is written both in English and in Spanish and it makes so much sense when you think on all the parents and children who feel more comfortable to read in Spanish (and all of those who can use it to improve their Spanish like myself!).

By making the book bi-lingual
, the author wanted to reach kids in Hispanic communities and I think this is a great idea that hopefully will be copied by other authors and publishers. One funny thing I noticed though is that the book is designed in a way that each recommendation is presented on two pages - there’s an illustration showing how not to behave on the left side and another illustration showing how we should behave on the right side. Now, the English text is always on the right side and the Spanish translation always comes on the left side - so it looks like the English goes with the wrongdoing while Spanish is the language of the good deeds :)

The book itself is full with great advice. You won't find there any new advice but the book's strength is in putting all of these recommendations together and showing how simple it can be for children (and their parents) to go green. Coach Pedro and his wife, Susan, created an easy and understandable guide, full with
beautiful illustrations, for every kid who wants to support the environment and don't know where to begin or already begun and looks for further ideas.

Coming from the land of Pele, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Kaka and many other soccer legends that became a model and inspiration for millions of children around the world, I hope Coach Pedro will also find his way to the hearts and minds of many kids and will succeed to influence them, this time not only to play soccer, but also to support the environment both on and outside the soccer field.

Here's the book's trailer:

If you want to learn more about Coach Pedro and his work, you are welcome to visit his website -

More links about the book:

Interview with the authors
Coach Pedro and Susan Adam-Rita on ShelfLife TV

Interview with Coach Pedro on the blog 'Write for a Reader'

The authors' blog

If you're looking for other interesting green-themed books, you are invited to check out our green books page on our website's green resources section.

Raz @ Eco-Libris

The Clash of the Titans is coming - Google plans to sell e-books, directly competing with Amazon

I'm back from BookExpo America (BEA) and this week will be dedicated to some of the stories and observations I have following this event.

One of the most interesting news from the BEA was actually released today by the New York Times - Google is getting ready to dive into the e-book market, currently dominated by Amazon.

Yes, we're talking about the Clash of the Titans - On one side of the ring, the current e-book champion, armed with its growing family of Kindles (Kindle 2.0 and Kindle DX). On the other side of the ring, Google, which has already made its 1.5 million public-domain books available for reading on mobile phones as well as the Sony Reader. This is going to be one hell of a battle!

Google is coming armed with two main advantages (besides being Google of course..). Firstly, according to Tom Turvey, director of strategic partnerships at Google, their program will allow readers to read books on any device with internet access, including mobile phones, rather than being limited to dedicated reading devices like the Amazon Kindle.

The second advantage is purely aimed at the publishers - Google would allow publishers to set retail prices, unlike Amazon that offers Kindle editions of most new best sellers for $9.99, which is far less than the typical $26 at which publishers sell new hardcovers. I just wonder if this is also an advantage for the readers who will probably be asked to pay more (and if so is it a competitive advantage at all?)

Unfortunately I wasn't present at Turvey's presentation at the BookExpo, but according to the NYT he said “This time we mean it" and the company is committed to going live with the project by the end of 2009.

So what does it mean? in one word: competition. Is it good for readers? definitely. Is it good for publishers? absolutely. Is it good for the environment? hopefully. If Google will work closely with Sony Reader as their main partner, it might drive both the Kindle and Sony Reader to improve their performance and hopefully it will mean also improvements in terms of footprint reduction.

Moreover, either Amazon or Google might decide to position themselves as a greener solution and will release a version that is clearly more eco-friendly than paper books (backed up with the life cycle assessment we're expecting for for so long).

In any case, this is an interesting move and we'll have to wait and see how it will influence the e-book market in general and its green side specifically.

Raz @ Eco-Libris