THE REGGAE BAND RESCUES MAMA EDDA LEATHERBACK

(REGGAE PICKNEY SERIES, VOLUME 2)

A reggae-singing parrot and his friends deliver a pro-environment message as they rescue an endangered leatherback sea turtle.

Shaggy Parrot and the Reggae Band—a colorful hodgepodge of Caribbean sea-creatures—are having a jam session out on the pier when suddenly Swimpy the shrimp appears. Swimpy reports that Mama Edda, a leatherback sea turtle, is very sick and needs help right away. Shaggy and his friends immediately swing into action; Swimpy takes Dallie Dolphin and Sea Cat to Mama Edda while Shaggy goes in search of Doctor Bird.  Once Mama Edda is helped to shore, the doctor examines her and quickly reveals why she’s sick—she’s accidentally swallowed a plastic bag. Doctor Bird immediately goes to retrieve the bag from her throat, but there’s a catch—Mama Edda is also heavy with eggs and needs “the children” need to help dig her nest so that the eggs will have a safe place to hatch. This absolutely delightful narrative is produced by the Environmental Foundation of Jamaica (EFJ) and is the second in the Reggae Pickney series. Shaggy and his friends are beautifully illustrated by Sanjay Charlton; the vibrant colors bring the animals and their seaside environment to life, while the anthropomorphic expressions on the animals’ faces make them friendly and engaging to young readers. Reggae star Shaggy lends his voice to the title character on the accompanying CD, which is not just a textual read-along but also contains songs and music. Children are encouraged to clap and sing along, and all the while the EFJ manages to sneak in a pro-environmental message, encouraging readers to adhere to the old adage of “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.” The narrative is a good length, neither too long nor too short, and perfectly suitable for either a classroom reading or an at-home experience between parent and child. The book also contains additional facts about Jamaican wildlife and what conservational efforts young people can make. A deeply enjoyable read—one that will thoroughly delight children while also encouraging them to think and care about the world around them.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-9769503236

Page Count: 34

Publisher: KQC Enterprises

Review Posted Online: Feb. 14, 2012

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More gift book than storybook, this is a meaningful addition to nursery bookshelves

MAYBE

A young child explores the unlimited potential inherent in all humans.

“Have you ever wondered why you are here?” asks the second-person narration. There is no one like you. Maybe you’re here to make a difference with your uniqueness; maybe you will speak for those who can’t or use your gifts to shine a light into the darkness. The no-frills, unrhymed narrative encourages readers to follow their hearts and tap into their limitless potential to be anything and do anything. The precisely inked and colored artwork plays with perspective from the first double-page spread, in which the child contemplates a mountain (or maybe an iceberg) in their hands. Later, they stand on a ladder to place white spots on tall, red mushrooms. The oversized flora and fauna seem to symbolize the presumptively insurmountable, reinforcing the book’s message that anything is possible. This quiet read, with its sophisticated central question, encourages children to reach for their untapped potential while reminding them it won’t be easy—they will make messes and mistakes—but the magic within can help overcome falls and failures. It’s unlikely that members of the intended audience have begun to wonder about their life’s purpose, but this life-affirming mood piece has honorable intentions. The child, accompanied by an adorable piglet and sporting overalls and a bird-beaked cap made of leaves, presents white.

More gift book than storybook, this is a meaningful addition to nursery bookshelves . (Picture book. 2-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-946873-75-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Compendium

Review Posted Online: May 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2019

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THE LORAX

The greening of Dr. Seuss, in an ecology fable with an obvious message but a savingly silly style. In the desolate land of the Lifted Lorax, an aged creature called the Once-ler tells a young visitor how he arrived long ago in the then glorious country and began manufacturing anomalous objects called Thneeds from "the bright-colored tufts of the Truffula Trees." Despite protests from the Lorax, a native "who speaks for the trees," he continues to chop down Truffulas until he drives away the Brown Bar-ba-loots who had fed on the Tuffula fruit, the Swomee-Swans who can't sing a note for the smogulous smoke, and the Humming-Fish who had hummed in the pond now glumped up with Gluppity-Glupp. As for the Once-let, "1 went right on biggering, selling more Thneeds./ And I biggered my money, which everyone needs" — until the last Truffula falls. But one seed is left, and the Once-let hands it to his listener, with a message from the Lorax: "UNLESS someone like you/ cares a whole awful lot,/ nothing is going to get better./ It's not." The spontaneous madness of the old Dr. Seuss is absent here, but so is the boredom he often induced (in parents, anyway) with one ridiculous invention after another. And if the Once-let doesn't match the Grinch for sheer irresistible cussedness, he is stealing a lot more than Christmas and his story just might induce a generation of six-year-olds to care a whole lot.

Pub Date: Aug. 12, 1971

ISBN: 0394823370

Page Count: 72

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Oct. 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1971

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