I’ve had the good fortune to view sea turtles in their natural habitat while snorkeling. And while I’m not currently traveling to anywhere I can snorkel, I can satisfy my desire to learn more about them by reading informative picture books, like today’s Perfect Picture Book.
Title: Follow the Moon Home: A Tale of One Idea, Twenty Kids, and a Hundred Sea Turtles
Written By: Philippe Cousteau and Deborah Hopkinson
Illustrated By: Meilo So
Publisher/Date: Chronicle Books/2016
Suitable for Ages: 4-6 (and older)
Themes/Topics: sea turtles, environmental activism, moving
I always need help finding my way, especially in a new place.
“Before long you’ll feel right at home, Viv.”
I WASN’T SO SURE.
Brief Synopsis: When Viv moves to a new community and school near the beach and the teacher assigns a class project to spur community action, Viv learns about the local sea turtles, the issues turtle hatchlings face, and how she, and her class, can help.
Links to Resources:
- Check out the fabulous back matter including a Letter to Young Activists, a note to Parents and Teachers, and information about Loggerheads and other Sea Turtles;
- Find more ideas in the Teacher Guide;
- “Swim” along on an online snorkeling trip in the Virgin Islands National Park to view marine life, including sea turtles;
- What problems do people in your local community face? Even with many schools operating remotely and social distancing the norm right now, there may be ways you can help by organizing a food or holiday gift drive, coordinating a socially-distanced park cleanup, or sending cards and other encouraging messages to nursing or other group homes.
Why I Like this Book:
Follow the Moon Home is a multi-layered informational picture book with hooks to engage anyone. If you, like the narrator, Viv, have recently moved, read how she connected with her new classmates and community through the class project to help the sea turtles. If you love sea turtles and want to learn more about them, the book has plenty of facts and engaging watercolor illustrations to lure you in. If you’re interested in helping others or in environmentalism, read on and follow the steps Viv and her classmates took to spur community action. Interestingly, the problem the class tackles, the lights from beachfront homes that confused the turtles, is not one I’ve seen discussed much in picture books about protecting sea turtles.
Because Follow the Moon Home offers so much on so many levels, I think it would be a tremendous resource in classrooms, as well as a terrific family read (note that the actions taken are initiated by a class, but a family easily could identify a community problem to solve).
A Note about Craft:
Although primarily an informational picture book about sea turtles and environmental activism, Follow the Moon Home is also a story about Viv, who settles into a new home, school, and community by rallying her classmates and neighbors to help the sea turtle hatchlings. Using first person POV, the authors forge an immediate connection between the reader and Viv, as we empathize with her desire to find her way. This, in turn, helps the reader connect with the young sea turtles, who also struggle to find their way to the sea.
This Perfect Picture Book entry is being added to Susanna Hill’s Perfect Picture Book list. Check out the other great picture books featured there!