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Yorkshire Times
Voice of the North
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Rosie Goodwin
Family Arts Correspondent
2:58 PM 10th January 2020

Book Review: Little Turtle Turns The Tide

I gave up making resolutions each New Year after it became patently clear that I am no good at keeping any of them. After a short burst of energy, I generally fall at the first hurdle. And so, a week into January, I am left wondering: across the world, how many have been discarded already - tossed aside guiltily and abandoned?
Which leads me on quite nicely to the other things that, as a society, we’re quick to discard – in particular our worrying tendency to over-consume, and quickly abandon, plastic goods.

In this context, the latest children’s book to come my way, the newly-released Little Turtle Turns the Tide, is both timely and hugely relevant. Developed, written and beautifully illustrated for children aged approximately 3 - 7, it explores the truth about plastic pollution through gentle storytelling, finding an unlikely hero in Little Turtle, who valiantly refuses to be overwhelmed by the scale of the problem.

The task of cleaning up the world’s oceans can often feel insurmountable from my own little corner of Yorkshire – but, given that my little corner includes the magnificent Yorkshire coastline, one we can be proud to boast about, the plastic problem is often on my mind. It’s been very encouraging to see the number of organised beach clean ups taking place across Yorkshire in recent months; more than that, I often see individuals pocketing small pieces of litter on their walks too.

Spanning some 45 miles, the Yorkshire coast encompasses tiny fishing villages but also dazzling stretches of sandy beach, not to mention world-famous Whitby, named last year as one of the top 10 seaside resorts in the country. Any of us with children, who love this stretch of the county, may well wish to pick up a copy of Little Turtle Turns the Tide this month.

Illustrator, Nico Williams, explains their mission, “to alert children to the current situation and empower them to work together to make a difference”.

If I were to have any resolutions this year (which I definitely don’t), it might just be that I would aim to read more with my children; and it might just be that I would aim to consume less plastic. Indeed, if I did have any resolutions, they would do well to start with this book. Unlike my ambitions of former Januaries, which failed I suspect because the changes demanded of me were just too great, Little Turtle’s message genuinely stands a chance of getting through, calling on children the world over to take little steps. It is about the power of collective effort.

Written with a simple rhyme scheme that propels the reader onward, Little Turtle Turns the Tide is an inspiring work of fiction for youngsters - about one turtle’s journey, his resolution to make a difference and his understanding that ‘small things can do great big things’!

But this picture book is also incredibly beautiful to luxuriate in or pore over; indeed, my toddler and I could have lost ourselves in the pages for several hours; stunningly illustrated, it is dominated, unsurprisingly, with colours from the blue spectrum, including rich purples, deep indigos and violet, and softer greens. Spurred on by his encounters with an array of sea creatures and even a mermaid, radiant and magical, Little Turtle’s message is a positive one for the future.

“Young children are the scientists, environmentalists and activists of the future, and these sparks can ignite from a young age,” explains author Lauren Davies. “There is also much we can all do to make a difference, no matter how young.”

Little Turtle Turn The Tide is priced at £7.99 and is available from nationwide bookstores and online at www.surfgirlbeachboutique.com. It is published by Orca Publications. A portion of the proceeds is donated to the environmental charity, Surfers Against Sewage.