Nick and his friends demonstrate that even young children can reduce their reliance on single-use plastics.
Four friends, a dog, and a cat join Nick to celebrate his birthday with a single-use-plastics–free picnic. Spread by spread, Ritchie introduces the ubiquity of plastics in our world, the availability of alternatives to single-use plastics, the problem of plastic waste in waterways and ocean gyres, and how it harms animals—and the people who eat them. On the ferry to the island where they will picnic, the children notice trash in the water, the lack of recycling bins, and the sale of drinks with straws (text reminds readers that some people with disabilities need straws). One spread offers a step-by-step diagram of plastic manufacture; another suggests ways to avoid plastics. Finally, the five partygoers help with a beach cleanup (wearing gloves). Engaging digital artwork may remind readers of the ink-and-watercolor illustrations of Bob Graham. There are even occasional shifts in perspective. Like his ponytailed mother, Nick is white; he wears glasses; his friends have names and appearances of varying ethnicities. Another ferry passenger is using a wheelchair. A simple, two-level text tells the story of their day, with further explanations from the author in a different type. At a time of heightened awareness of plastic pollution in the ocean, adults will welcome this introduction.
Sweetly packaged, simple steps we all can take. (glossary) (Informational picture book. 4-8)