Talking to children about important issues such as global warming and natural resource protection may seem daunting. Fortunately, William the green garbage truck is here to help. James Martin II and his 4-year-old son, James Martin III, created the William the Garbage Truck & Crew series to teach children ages 3 to 8 to be aware of their environment and to help take care of it.
Martin realized his own need for environmental awareness after being fined for cutting down trees on his property in Greenwich, Conn.
“I was shocked to realize that the generations before me did not teach about these important environmental issues,” says Martin. “What you learn as a child is important, and I want to teach others what I didn’t know.”
With three children in his household, Martin was more than familiar with characters like Barney and Elmo. He knew friendly faces like these were key to starting a dialogue with children. To develop such a character, Martin looked to James, who has an obsession with garbage trucks. And so, William the garbage truck was born.
When working with the book’s illustrator, Don Berry, Martin consulted his son for creative guidance. The younger Martin pointed out details that may not have been noticed by more mature audiences. “It was important to get a child involved,” says Martin. “They are the audience to teach, so the look had to be warm and welcoming to them.”
William is Going Green is the first book in the William the Garbage Truck & Crew series. The first book introduces youngsters to William, an ordinary gas-guzzling garbage truck who trades in his old engine for a friendlier hybrid. William also learns about making new friends and simple steps to “go green.”
Throughout the series, William and his friends will take on various adventures throughout their fictional town of Jamestown and work to save the planet from global warming, “greening the world one truck at a time.” Each book teaches kids to take care of their environment and focuses on an important life lesson. “The most important thing is to make these issues entertaining and fun for kids,” says Martin.
Each 860-word, hard-covered picture book is printed with eco-friendly materials that are 100 percent recyclable. Order a copy online at williamthegarbagetruck.com.
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