BooksForKidsBlog

Thursday, May 06, 2021

Stop the Plastic! Rocket Says Clean Up! by Nathan Byron

Rocket's bags are packed, snorkel and all.

"I CAN'T SLEEP TONIGHT, BECAUSE TOMORROW...

ME, MY MOM, AND MY BIG BROTHER JAMAL ARE GOING ON VACATION TO SEE MY GRANDMA AND GRAMPY.

I'LL BE DANCING WITH DOLPHINS AND SURFING LIKE IMANI WILMOT!"

But Imani Wilmot, the famous female surfer, will have to wait. On her first visit to the water, Rocket finds a baby turtle in bad shape, caught up in twisted plastic. Her grandparents run whale watch tours and an animal sanctuary, so Rocket turns the turtle over to her granmmy's care, and the two take off to surf at the beach. It's great, but the endangered little turtle is still on her mind, and looking around at her beloved beach, she is appalled.

"IT SEEMS LIKE THERE IS MORE PLASTIC THAN SAND!

I NEED TO CLEAN UP!"

Rocket spreads the word and soon most of the children on the beach join in the cleanup. Even Jamal stops looking at his phone long enough to help! One of the grownups offers to design snazzy seaside critter-themed litter collection bins from some of the plastic. Soon there's a barbeque on the beach to celebrate their joint efforts, and Rocket gets to release the now healthy little turtle to the ocean, in Nathan Byron's happy ending for his newest, Rocket Says Clean Up! (Random House, 2020).

Byron's resourceful little heroine is plucky and charming, and Dapa Meola's illustrations of the sunny Jamaican scene make this an upbeat story which drives home the theme of individual and joint responsibility for preserving those places we all love. Byron appends his list, How You Can Help to help primary readers understand how to help protect our favorite watery places and their creatures.

Share this one with Byron's first book about his science-loving little character, Rocket Says Look Up!

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