Having examined aspects of sustainable living in Pedal Power (2017) and earlier titles, Drummond now turns to the world’s largest solar power plant.
Every day, Nadia, Jasmine, and their classmates walk under the Moroccan sun to their school on the edge of the Sahara. A class field trip to the Noor power plant gives the kids the opportunity to think about both global sustainability and “what…the solar plant [is] doing for us, right here, in our village.” Loose lines and cheery watercolors are equally deft at describing energetic, ebullient kids and the vast power plant, “the size of 3,500 soccer fields.” Jasmine, who wears a yellow hijab, narrates, her clear, convincing voice evincing curiosity and enthusiasm, while speech balloons allow her classmates to interject: “Look! There’s Naima’s mom,” one says, spotting a classmate’s mother in the power-plant control room. Jasmine notes that the plant has brought benefits to her community, but in fits and starts: Construction workers now put skills to use as entrepreneurs, but the school doesn’t have internet yet. Sidebars provide further information on the region, the plant, and sustainability, ably complementing the text. In his author’s note, Drummond confesses that his “surprise” at learning that the world’s biggest power plant is not “in a highly developed country” is “evidence of my own cultural shortsightedness,” but he’s rallied to produce a surprisingly complex yet accessible exploration.
A valuable look at sustainability and development. (bibliography) (Picture book. 5-10)