Children’s authors tend to be an Earth-friendly group, and my newest title, Plastic, Ahoy! Investigating the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, is in good company with others that demonstrate how human activities encroach upon the natural world with disastrous consequences.
While Plastic, Ahoy! focuses on plastic pollution in our ocean and its affects on marine life, Abayomi the Brazilian Puma: The True Story of an Orphaned Cub by Darcy Pattison and Kitty Harvill illustrates how habitat loss effects Brazil’s endangered cat. The human desire for more cars, more roads, more buildings, more food have decimated rain forests. Pumas, who in Pattison’s beautiful prose “only walked abroad at night on silent paws,” regularly come into conflict with humans raiding chicken coops or other livestock. A farmer traps the offending puma but grows impatient waiting for the proper authorities to safely transport the puma to another locale. This impatience leads to the death of the female puma with nursing cubs.
Abayomi ends on a happy note, but human-wildlife conflicts are growing more popular in the rain forests of Brazil and Indonesia, and on the plains of Africa. Conflicts in which the animals almost always lose.
Pattison closes her story with startling facts about our increasingly urban world and the importance of establishing wildlife corridors to protect animals and plants. Lastly, Pattison provides young readers with links to some of these groups in addition to suggestions for further reading.
Do you have a favorite Earth-friendly title? Please share it with me.