Merriol and the Lord Hycarbox
by Jennifer Hashmi

"Neena and Lola and Dot went home that afternoon enthusiastic to start on a programme of one good deed a day."

Lord Hycarbox is the Lord of the Environment, responsible for the creation and maintenance of the Earth. Merriol, his energetic helper, travels down to the people below and records their deeds. With Hycarbox's guidance, Merriol also steers those with good intentions to act on their thoughts. Focusing mostly on the children who will one day grow up and make a positive difference in the world, Merriol and Hycarbox help the young deal with bullying, stray animals, pollution, and the homeless. With just a little encouragement to help them get the confidence they need, these children tackle the problems in their lives directly, making the world around them a better place to live. As conditions continue to worsen, Lord Hycarbox considers wiping everything out and starting from scratch, but his faith in people to do good gives the planet a second chance.

Each chapter in this book focuses on a different set of children and a different societal problem, all strung together by the observation and intervention from Merriol and Hycarbox. Accompanied by full-page, full-color illustrations, these stories begin with children dealing with a wrong being done to them or their community, and their wanting to change things but not knowing how or not believing it can be changed. The morals that arise as a result are simple to understand and possible for all people young or old to incorporate into their lives. The four stories contained within are long enough to be broken up easily into individual readings, and the way that children and adults work together within each lesson teaches the value of cooperation and listening to others. This book is well-suited for parents to read to a young audience, as well as for older children to enjoy on their own.

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