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Penelope Anne Cole enjoys writing children’s stories to be read aloud. “Reading to children is the best way to help them love literature.” Ms. Cole has taught and tutored at every grade level, K to 12, and community college. She also reviews children's books. When not writing or reviewing children’s books, Ms. Cole enjoys dog walking, reading, gardening, church, and choir activities. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, a member of the California Writers Club:  Fremont Area Writers, SF Peninsula Writers, and South Bay Writers, and is a Reading Therapist with Read America. Ms. Cole reviews books at


See reviews of Ms. Cole's books at


Her website is www.penelopeannecole.com

Contact Ms. Cole for School Author Visits, locally in-person, or by SKYPE.

Friday, August 8, 2014

"Recycle: A Musical," by Joni Klein-Higger

Recycle:  A Musical, by author, playwright, and songwriter Joni Klein-Higger, combines recycling and rock and roll, two of my favorite things! I mean I don’t love the process of collecting, sorting, and taking out trash that is involved in recycling, but I love helping to “save the planet,” one landfill at a time. Add in rock and roll, which is the music I grew up with and listen to daily, and it’s all good.

Right away Ms. Klein-Higger’s Recycle: A Musical grabs children’s attention with a talking trash can, jar, and plastic bottle. Then we move to kids on summer vacation being asked to take out the recycling. Naturally, they just want to play all day. They sing about it in “Summer’s Meant for Having fun.” Then they’re visited by Professor Rosco, who takes them back in time to the 1950’s. There they see what life was like before our “disposable society.” They sing “Rock and Roll with Me” to give us a real feel for the 1950’s.

The kids in the musical see that 1950’s kids didn’t have as much trash as we do. Back then, we didn’t need home recycling, because there was more “institutional” recycling. Milk bottles were refilled. Soda bottles were redeemed for cash. Many families still canned fruits and vegetables, or bought them fresh. There were far fewer processed foods and much less packaging. Nowadays, we order many things online and dispose of much shipping material, in addition to plastics, bottles, cans, and jars. We all need to recycle to reduce the amount that goes to the landfill.

Professor Rosco’s slide show for the kids brings home the message of how our disposables harm our plant and animal life, and affect the earth.  This is great history, social studies, and science all in the same lesson. The kids get the message and sing the “Reuse Reduce Recycle” song. They even get a metaphorical tour of a recycling plant and sing the “Recycle Plant” song. After their experiences, the kids get on board and commit to recycling.

Recycle: A Musical is a very good way to help kids see the importance and benefits of recycling. It’s a lot of fun and a great addition to any school’s curriculum. Let’s get kids involved young in recycling, and then they will support it as adults. Thank you Joni Klein-Higger for a  musical that is a rollicking good time and a fun teaching tool.

Read more about Author, Playright, Songwriter Joni Klein-Higger at www.joniworld.com
She has another children's musical, Land of Lost Socks, also published with Guardian Angel Publishing, with more books to come.

Tags:  Joni Klein-Higger, Recycle, Musicals, Lost Socks, children's musicals


  1. Joni's book sounds like a winner for sure! I wish you great success Joni. Thanks Penny for another informative review.

    1. Hi Susan, thanks for your always supportive comments. Yes, this is a great musical for schools to use to teach while it entertains. Wishing Joni much success!

  2. Thanks, Penny! I'm so glad you enjoyed Recycle:)

  3. From Author Margot Finke:
    I love the idea of recycling set to music. Such a clever and innovative idea. Hope you have much success with it, Joni.

    Books for Kids - Manuscript Critiques

  4. Terrific review for an important book. Thanks for bringing it to my attention!

    1. Hi Donna, Thanks for your comments and support. It's a really great musical --ties in well with school curriculum (Social Studies, Science, Community Service, etc.) Kids will love the songs, too. Wishing her much success.

  5. Fantastic review for an amazing book, I recycling idea is just amazing. Keep up with the good work as i wish you all the best of luck as you move forward.