This week has been The Great British Beach Clean Up and also Recycling Week, so this week’s books all have an environmental theme.
Clean Up by Nathan Bryon and Dapo Adeola is a heart-warming, timely and empowering picture book, showing how we ALL can make a difference.
Join lovable, passionate Rocket as she sets off on a mission to save a Caribbean island from plastic pollution! When Rocket goes for a holiday to visit her grandparents, she’s shocked by the pollution that is spoiling their island home and putting the local sea life at risk. Can she think of a way to save the day?
Being just about as far from the sea as we can be, I’ve also picked Tidy by Emily Gravett, which is a wonderfully humorous woodland story about the perils of being too tidy, with a subtle environmental message about preservation of our environment.
Pete the badger likes everything to be neat and tidy at all times, but what starts as the collecting of one fallen leaf escalates and ends with the complete destruction of the forest! Will Pete realise the error of his ways and set things right?
Perfect for newly independant readers, Sona Sharma: Looking After Planet Earth by Chitra Soundar, illustrated by Jen Khatun is another fabulous story set in Sona’s bustling family household, spotlighting daily life, culture and traditions in Chennai, India. Perfect for younger readers looking for a mirror to their own family life, or window to an authentic view of a different culture, they will relate to the school setting, while the cultural detail will immerse them into Sona’s world. Jen’s delightful illustrations highlight Chitra’s characters in beautiful, expressive detail, and bring the settings, family and traditional drawings to life.
When Sona learns about the climate crisis at school and is very worried that no one is doing enough to combat it, she takes up the challenge herself. But Appa isn’t amused when Sona throws out her baby sister’s nappies and Thatha isn’t happy when she tells him to get rid of his colour-coded plastic files. When Sona learns that many of the kolams – the traditional art that people draw in front of their homes to celebrate the winter months and the festival season – are not organic, she sets out to make some big changes by getting everyone involved.
For older children, Pop! by Mitch Johnson is a jaw-dropping look at consumerism and profiteering above all else, the damage it creates to our world, and fizzy drink addiction. Mitch combines the perfect amounts of satire, suspense and serious laughs to create a gripping story fizzing with Mitch combines the perfect amounts of satire, suspense and serious laughs to create a gripping story fizzing with flabbergasting moments where I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. I mainly laughed, but when you stop and think… The exaggerated boardroom scenes are both hilarious and horrifying.
When the priceless recipe to the world’s most popular drink – thought to be lost forever – washes up at her feet, Queenie’s life instantly changes. Everyone wants it, and with a $10 million bounty on her head, Queenie’s soon on the run. Pursued by bounty hunters, black-ops helicopters and angry mobs, Queenie’s journey involves a trip to Area 51, a man-eating alligator and an unlikely new friend, Todd.
But being on the run also makes Queenie begin to see the world around her more clearly – a world in which a big corporation’s excess has left the planet covered in its plastic bottles and waste. Suddenly, the home she always dreamed of escaping, and the ocean she grew up with and took for granted, don’t seem so bad. If Queenie and Todd can bring down the bad guys, maybe she can go back home and make a difference…
And finally, Old Enough To Save The Planet by Loll Kirby and Adelina Lirius is a beautifully illustrated non-fiction browser celebrating young people who have made a difference to our planet.
From Shalise in Australia cleaning up pollution from the shores, to Amy and Ella in the UK committed to eradicating single-use plastics, we see 12 inspiring ideas to help save our planet. Meet kids – just like you – taking action against climate change. Learn about the work they do and discover how the future of our planet starts here… with you. Maybe it will inspire you to take action at home or maybe even in school!