I asked the author, who lives in Florida near the Gulf of Mexico, what influence her own experience after the famous disaster had on writing this book. Here's what she told me:
"Our condo is on Clearwater Beach, a part of Tampa Bay. Fortunately, we did not have any oil spill residue. But just being a part of the gulf community was enough to be impacted emotionally. We love it and respect the marine life found there, so it wasn't any stretch of the imagination to empathize. Because of this and coupled with all the live shots of the oil spurting from the well and at the surface, the book was a natural. In fact, Lynda Burch, my publisher and I thought the book was crying out to be written. So I wrote it."
The book is well written and the lovely illustrations by Samantha Bell convey the story perfectly. Kids who read it will enjoy discovering what two children like themselves were able to do to make a difference in the world. I hope a lot of readers will be inspired to make a difference themselves. I asked Nancy Stewart for some suggestions and she said, "I believe the things to do with kids that will have the most impact are things they can really do. Every day. Things such as: turn off water while brushing teeth (three gallons used each time we don't), turn off lights when leaving a room, (I always tell little ones in school visits, each time they turn off a light they are helping save a polar bear), take short showers and unplug appliances after using them. And there are so many more. In fact, I have a power point I made as a presenter at the Illinois Reading Council Conference in March. It's on my website for anyone to use. It's called, Let's Help Kids Save Our Planet. If anyone wants it, s/he is free to use it.
The web address is: www.nancystewartbooks.com
My blog site is: http://www.nancystewartbooks.blogspot.com
I believe many young readers will be inspired by this book to make a difference in the world.