The Big Beach Cleanup by Charlotte Offsay, illustrated by Katie Rewse. Albert Whitman & Company, 9780807508015
Format: Paperback (uncorrected proof, hardcover available March 2021)
Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5
Genre: Picture book, realistic fiction
What did you like about the book? Cora has big plans. She wants to enter and win the sandcastle contest at her local beach. When she arrives, she discovers a polluted shoreline filled with washed-up debris, and the conditions require canceling the contest. Despite Cora’s best efforts, joined by friends and family, the cleanup is too cumbersome. As soon as she clears the beach, more pollution washes ashore, and the wildlife and sea dwellers are beginning to get tangled and caught up in the castoff items. Cora decides to enlist the help of the community by posting fliers around town. Enough hands join forces for the good of the beach. Cora is able to compete in the contest, and although she isn’t a winning castle builder, she is more than satisfied by her win of cleaning the beach. The illustrations are brightly colored and provide a sense of hope and determination as Cora tries to make a difference for the community she loves. The end pages discuss the challenges and importance of keeping the oceans clean as a gentle reminder that everyone is responsible to be stewards of Earth.
Anything you didn’t like about it? No
To whom would you recommend this book? This is a great book to use as a read-aloud for Earth Day, or as part of a civics unit stressing the importance of how one person, even a child, can make a big difference.
Who should buy this book? Elementary and public libraries
Where would you shelve it? Picture books
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? It isn’t a “must buy” but it certainly is worthy of taking a look if you are interested in expanding offerings that promote environmental awareness and stewardship.
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Linda Broderick, Lincoln Street Elementary School, Northboro, MA
Date of review: 2/20/2021