Archibald and the Crunch Machine


32 pages
ISBN 1-55037-114-2
DDC jC813'.54





Illustrations by Sarah Battersby
Reviewed by Jean Free

Jean Free, a library consultant, was an elementary-school teacher and
librarian in Whitby, Ontario.


Nine-year-old Archibald Egbert Blinkle, an amateur inventor, lives in
the small town of Lakeview. When he discovers an unpleasant smell coming
from the town creek, he realizes that the dump is leaking pollution into
the stream. Archibald takes a “tin can of yucky water” to show the
mayor and councilors but decides than he can solve the problem only by
mobilizing his friends and family. They invent the Crunch Machine, which
eats the garbage at the dump, clearing much of the pollution and odor in
the community. When the garbage piles up again, Archibald calls a town
meeting and says, “What we put out comes back to us.” The town
decides to convert to reducing, reusing, and recycling, and Archibald
becomes a hero.

Archibald and the Crunch Machine, with its cartoon-like drawings by
Eastern Ontario illustrator Sarah Battersby, is an easy-to-read, short
novel that would be an appropriate addition to a classroom unit on the
environment. Though it offers a rather simplistic solution, it would
start students thinking about the garbage problem in their own
community. The novel also points out that we must take responsibility
for our own actions as well as the need to do something now to stop
pollution. Using this book as a read-aloud or as a class novel could
provoke discussion and change personal habits.


Nelson, Jenny., “Archibald and the Crunch Machine,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 20, 2024,