Title: Join the No-Plastic Challenge!
Author: Scot Ritchie
Published: September 2019
Publisher: Kids Can Press
I received a copy of Join the No-Plastic Challenge! from Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
For his birthday celebration, Nick has challenged his friends — Yulee, Sally, Pedro and Martin — to spend the day without using any single-use plastic. This means they use their own cloth bags for shopping, they say no thanks to plastic straws and, instead of balloons, they decorate with kites and streamers made of natural materials. The children discover that not using plastic is not that hard. They also learn about what plastic is made of, how much of it surrounds us and how it’s polluting our oceans and affecting the food chain. Most importantly, the five friends learn ways to use less — including just saying NO! The book concludes with fun ideas for readers to do a No-Plastic Challenge of their own! This friendly introduction to a timely and urgent topic is part of Scot Ritchie’s popular Exploring Our Community series. It will raise awareness of just how much plastic we use every day, and why that matters.
I don’t often request picture books from Netgalley, but this one caught my eye. It felt kind of serendipitous as my students and I have just finished a unit on sustainability at school and my class have been very invested in exploring ways to be sustainable.
In Join the No-Plastic Challenge, Nick is having a birthday and he’s challenged himself and his friends to have a day where they don’t use any kind of single-use plastic. The narrative is interspersed with facts to support the decisions the kids make and provide alternative ways of thinking about the way we consume products.
I love children’s books that include both fictional and non-fictional aspects – it makes a text more accessible to a wider audience as those who prefer stories can still reap the benefits of a non-fiction text and vice versa. The narrative story is not overly complex – the concept is simple and easy to access, and is enhanced by the addition of simple, easy to implement sustainability changes.
The illustrations are fun and cartoon-like and feature detailed scenes where you can find the facts and alternatives. It’s a great text to spend a bit of time unpacking the illustrations and the details hidden within.
Join the No-Plastic Challenge! is a fun, informative children’s book that is very appropriate for this day and age, where being environmentally conscious is a very hot topic.