Bandits by Sha'an D'Anthes

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Hachette, 2020. ISBN: 9780734419675.
(Age: 4+) Recommended. Fern lives in a drab, colourless city where everything looks the same and everyone keeps to themselves. She loves to read, especially reading of times long ago when there were trees where there are now buildings. One night bandits steal into the city to steal, scattering rubbish all through the streets. She follows the bandits out of the city and finds that they live in a forest full of colour and trees. She is unsure but the two bandits introduce themselves and she looks at the rubbish they have collected from the city. She is astounded that they collect rubbish until they show her that the rubbish is still usable to plant and grow more trees.
She remains with her new friends, realising that the world is more vast than she thought and she helps with tree planting.
This arresting book with its colour filled pages, will encourage children to think about the things they waste. Food waste is a growing problem and this book will initiate discussion about this issue in the classroom, leading to children taking their own steps with the school and at home. There are more books being published at the moment alerting younger readers to the issue, nonfiction (What a waste by Jess French and Family guide to waste-free living by Lauren Carter), and fiction (The Tindims of Rubbish Island, by Sally Gardner and Jelly-boy by Nicole Godwin, for example.)
And in this book, Fern finds like-minded people who become her friends, working to undo the damage done to the planet.
Sha'an's first book was Zoom (2017).
Theme: Waste, Recycling, Friendship.
Fran Knight