Words by Ferninda Hardy and Carole Carpenter
Illustrated by Adrianna Steele-Card
Published by Second Story Press
Published in 2012
Ages ? (Young children)
Sandy loves visiting her grandpa's house by the beach every summer. She and her dog Pepper play in the sand and surf, chasing the seagulls. But on this day her walk on the beach is ruined when she comes across the garbage left over from someone else's picnic--pop cans, half-eaten hot-dog buns, and even a yellow mustard container. Angry, Sandy can't understand why anyone would want to dirty her beautiful beach. She and Pepper are startled by the arrival of the 'Garbage Lady, ' who helps pick up the mess. The Garbage Lady explains to Sandy that everyone has an ecological footprint--the mark they leave on the world--and that it is their responsibility to shrink it. Sandy is impressed and runs home to tell her grandpa. A wonderful introduction to environmental responsibility, the book ends with a list of everyday ways we can all shrink our footprint. Fittingly illustrated with a unique collage technique using recycled materials.
A line or two:
The beach was Sandy's favorite place in the world. It was Grandpa's favorite place too, and he told her about sea animals like starfish and jellyfish and octopuses.
He showed her tiny crabs that skiddered over the beach and buried themselves in the sand. He found perfect seashells for her, no bigger than her smallest fingernail, and showed her footprints made by different birds.
I love this book! It's all about Sandy going to the beach when she visits her grandfather and learning what to do in order to "shrink her footprint".
First of all, the message is a very good one for kids to start learning at a young age, but the illustrator really takes the idea of reusing and recycling to a whole new level. All the pictures are made out of little papers, fibres, and other materials. Making the pictures this way really added a whole new level of awareness and sensibilty to the story that was enjoyable.
Then Sandy is just very relatable. She reminded me of myself when I was that age, the way I would think, and the anger of injustices in the world. Sandy learns first-hand from "the Garbage Lady" at the beach why not picking up after ourselves and recycling what we no longer need could hurt the world. She helps to make right what others messed up (the dirty beach). It is just a wonderful tale.
Unfortunately it wasn't engaging enough for my daughter at age 3 but I'm sure as she gets older will appreciate it more and I'm looking forward to using it as a teaching tool for her to learn more about recycling and environmental issues.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.
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