Little Bee Books

Illustrated by Josh Cleland

In the jam-packed city of Fridge-opolis, Swiss cheese has turned moldy and bleu. The broccoli is in a cruciferous mood. And the dressings are cloudy with gloom. With the city in chaos, Mayor Mayonnaise calls on Doctor Baking Soda at Undersink Labs for help. Will they be able to save Fridge-opolis from utter rancid ruin? This pun-filled picture book is a humorous introduction to food waste, recycling and composting for young readers.


Holy Guacamole!

Americans dump up to a staggering 40 percent of all food produced each year! Yet record numbers of people (many of them kids) face hunger and food insecurity. Food waste is a huge — but often overlooked — problem, and is a major contributor to climate change since the number one thing in landfills is rotting food which generates methane.



“Don’t waste time: Pick up this fun, ecologically minded read.” 

FRIDGE-OPOLIS | Kirkus Reviews

June 22, 2022

A playful introduction to the serious topic of food waste.

As this picture book opens, the city of Fridge-Opolis has a serious pollution problem caused by rotting and expired food. Cartoon-style illustrations use wavy lines to indicate the malodorous stench emanating from the foods while also employing color, perspective, and crowding of forms and shapes to create a messy, chaotic setting. Meanwhile, rhyming text with a singsong cadence reads, “Lettuce had long ago wilted. / Rhubarb was bitter and rude. / The overripe pineapple prickled. / Even broccoli was in a bad mood.” Wordplay abounds as the untenable situation unravels, and after a food fight breaks out, anthropomorphic, mustachioed Mayor Mayonnaise resolves to clean things up. He enlists the help of Doctor Baking Soda, who scrubs the refrigerator clean and gets rid of spoiled food, leaving “only food safe to eat.” At book’s end, Recycling Ridge and Compost Town are introduced as new additions to the kitchen community, pointing toward ongoing efforts to reduce and responsibly deal with waste. Accessible, well-designed backmatter includes statistics and information about food waste in the United States to offer a sobering and inspiring call for readers to help “reach our national goal of cutting food waste and loss in half by 2030.” (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Don’t waste time: Pick up this fun, ecologically minded read. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-4998-1254-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Little Bee Books

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2022

Little sponge souls, you are pure light.

May I be so blessed to share a story together…

To hear you burst into gorgeous belly laughs.

To watch your miraculous synapses fire.

To honor whatever your sparrow heart feels.

I hold you in my words.

May you see yourself in my pages.​