ROSCOE AND THE PELICAN RESCUE by Lynn Rowe Reed

ROSCOE AND THE PELICAN RESCUE

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 5 - 8

KIRKUS REVIEW

It’s time now for picture books to start weighing in on the Deepwater Horizon debacle. Reed’s effort is a tender beginning. A young boy is looking forward to a vacation fishing, swimming and building sand castles with his cousin, who lives on the Louisiana coast. When they arrive at the beach, they are dismayed to find blobs of oil polluting the sand and, worse, fouling three pelicans. Uncle Willie is fuming (“His jaw is clenched and quivering in a way that scares me,” says the boy) as he and Aunt Olivia and the kids get the birds to a wildlife rehab center. There commences the arduous process of strengthening the birds, washing and drying them. The text explains the cleaning process without becoming overly pedagogic, and the birds are returned to clean water. Reed doesn’t belabor the mess that the oil spill has caused, partly because that is not in the nature of her artwork, which is childlike and two-dimensional; the characters all have big potato heads (Uncle Willie does a very good angry potato head). This is not an Armageddon scenario—no birds die, down the road the beach is unpolluted—as the story pulls up short of that. Way too short: This object lesson needs perhaps a little sting, something to ensure remembrance of the dirty deed, whose long-term consequences won’t be known for years. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: April 18th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-8234-2352-1
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Holiday House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 2011




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