From the moment I flipped through "Make a Splash! A Kid's Guide to Protecting Our Oceans, Lakes, Rivers, & Wetlands," I knew I'd found a winner. More importantly, my 10-year-old daughter agreed.
"Make a Splash!" is the new eco-book by authors Cathryn Berger Kaye and Philippe Cousteau, grandson of the legendary Jacques Cousteau, that offers kids information and inspiration about the issues facing the world's water sources today and what they can do to help protect them. Kaye and Cousteau are also the authors of "Going Blue, A Teen Guide to Saving Our Oceans, Lakes, Rivers, & Wetlands," also from Free Spirit Publishing, which was released in the summer of 2010 and has been awarded Learning Magazine’s 2011 Teachers’ Choice Award for the Family and a Gold Nautilus Award. Thanks to the success of "Going Blue," Kaye and Cousteau decided to write "Make a Splash!" for elementary school-aged kids in grades three and up.
The writing style of "Make a Splash!" is casual — almost chatty — with full-color photographs of water environments that visually suck the reader in. Each chapter takes kids through a "dive kit" of tools from information to action. From household water use to melting polar ice caps, "Make a Splash!" take kids on a tour of worldwide water use and abuse. Kids get bite-sized info about water pollution, climate change, overfishing and other threats to marine life while also learning about the kids all over the world that are taking action to protect the world's water.
That's what I saw when I flipped through the book, and I was delighted. But the real test came when I handed the book to my daughter and asked her to give me her thoughts. Like most 10-year-olds, my daughter likes to learn, but she doesn't like to be told that she likes to learn. So she glazes over quickly when presented with books that are over-preachy or look like a text book.
She was immediately engrossed in the pages of "Make a Splash!," pouring through information about The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, the Gulf oil spill and the Ogallala Aquifer. And she got really excited when reading about "Kids in Action" organizing beach cleanups, planting trees and knitting sweaters for penguins. "It's just so persuasive," she commented when I asked her for her overall impression of "Make a Splash!" "It really makes you want to go out and do all the things they talk about."
I'm not sure I could offer a stronger endorsement than that.
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