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(Reggae Pickney Series, Volume 2)

by Jana BentRupert Bent IIIRebecca PackerVeronica Salter illustrated by Sanjay Charlton

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-9769503236
Publisher: KQC Enterprises

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.