Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Today's read... FlipFlopi by Linda Ravin Lodding and Dipesh Pabari

Today's read caught my interest the moment I saw it. I'm a sucker for real-life tales which lead to thought and inspire in fun ways, and this book promises to do just that. Based on a true story, it should be eye-opening, informative, and inspiring. Let's see if it does all of these things!

How a Boat Made from Flip-Flops Is Helping to Save the Ocean
 Illustrated by Michael Machira Mwangi
Beaming Books
Picture Book
ages 4- 8
40 pages

Juma is excited to go fishing with his grandfather, Babu Ali. But when they get to the beach, they find the sand covered in plastic pollution--flip-flops, plastic straws, toothbrushes, bottles, and shopping bags. One of the flip-flops floating in on a wave looks like a boat. That gives Juma and Babu Ali an idea.

Based on the true story of the Kenyan dhow boat Flipflopi, this inspirational tale demonstrates how innovation, art, and determination can transform plastic pollution into something useful. In 2017, 30,000 flip-flops and other plastic waste items, all collected from the Kenyan coast, were melted, shaped, and carved into the dhow named Flipflopi. Weighing in at 7 tons, this boat is a testament to what can happen when awareness is turned into action.



These pages awaken awareness for ocean pollution and inspire for action in a fun way.

Juma loves to head to the beach with his grandfather to go fishing, but the constant build-up of plastic trash is becoming a huge problem. When Juma sees a flip-flop floating on the water, he imagines it to be a boat and shares his thoughts with his grandfather. What Juma doesn't expect is that his grandfather, a boat maker, takes this as an inspiration to create a real boat from the trash on the beach. 

The idea behind this book immediately had me curious to take a peek, and I'm so glad I did. The tale is written in an easy-to-tell fashion, making it a lovely read-aloud as well as something for steady readers to pick-up on their own. It's easy to get caught up in Juma's excitement and become curious as to where the entire idea of building a boat will go. It's interesting as well as informative to see how the boat comes together and detailed enough to learn along the way, but not so much so that it drags. There is also an illustration, which shows how the boat was constructed, at the end of the book. So, this one offers quite a few directions. 

The main theme, of course, centers around the amount of plastic trash in the oceans. The illustrations bring this point home as the people on the island collect the needed amount of plastic from the beaches and place them in huge piles. There is more information at the end of the book, which briefly breaks down some facts surrounding this theme. While the pollution is addressed, it swings perfectly along with the tale, keeping any sign of preachiness away. Listeners will pause to think. Yet, the story stays centered on how Juma and his grandfather deal with the garbage and by doing so, inspire for action.  This will awaken ideas in listeners and can act as an opportunity for them to do a similar teachers and homeschoolers, be on the lookout for that!

I can recommend this one and find it a great way to address the topic, while doing so much more along the way.

And here she is...

Linda Ravin Lodding is the award-winning author of nine children's picture books including release "The Busy Life of Ernestine Buckmeister" (Flashlight Press), "Hold That Thought, Milton!" (Parragon Books), "A Gift for Mama" (Knopf Books for Young Readers), "The Queen is Coming to Tea" (Sourcebooks), "Painting Pepette" (Little Bee), "Wakey, Wakey Elephant" (Union Square Kids), "Little Red Riding Sheep" (Atheneum Books for Young Readers) and the forthcoming "Flipflopi: How a Boat Made from Flip-Flops is Helping to Save the Oceans" (Beaming Books, 2023).

Linda graduated from Barnard College, Columbia University (New York) and has an MBA from New York University's Stern School of Business. In addition to being a writer, she works as Head of Communications for a children's rights organization founded by the Swedish Royal Family. Linda is originally from New York, but has spent the past 25 years in Austria and The Netherlands and now lives in beautiful Stockholm, Sweden.

Find out more:

Link to the Flipflopi Project:
Link to author's website:
Link to author's Instagram: @lindaravinlodding_author

No comments: