One Pelican at a Time: A Story of the Gulf Oil Spill

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Exactly one year ago today, an explosion sank the Deepwater Horizon rig and the  oil from the largest spill in US history has taken a toll on the ocean & the Gulf’s coastal economies. Things are still not ‘back to normal’ in many coastal towns and some may never fully recover. What can WE do? How can we make sure our children learn from this ecological disaster? Books like the one I am spotlighting today may be one part of the answer!


Title:  One Pelican at a Time
Subtitle:  A Story of the Gulf Oil Spill
Author:  Nancy Stewart
ISBN:  978-1616331399
Pages:  26 pages
Publisher:   Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc (February 20, 2011)
From the Publisher:

Bella and Britt love living by the beach. When they find oil washing to shore from a gulf spill, they want to help but are told there is nothing for kids to do. But when their old friend, the pelican, becomes covered with oil, they help save his life by their quick thinking and action.

About the Author:

After having been an elementary school teacher, a management consultant with New Options, Inc. in New York City and a university professor of education, Nancy now writes children’s books full time. She, her husband and children lived in London for eight years, where she was a consultant to several universities, including Cambridge.


Nancy is the author of two other Bella and Britt books: Bella Saves the Beach and Sea Turtle Summer, which will be published in 2011. All are published by Guardian Angel Publishers.

My Review:
When something goes wrong, whether it is a result of mother nature like an earthquake or an act of man like the Deepwater Horizon explosion, kids often ask : “What can I do to help?” Even though their actions may be small, children need to know that they have the power to do SOMETHING.
One Pelican at a Time offers a bit of hope. Bella and Britt love living on the beach and have made friends with an old pelican. When they discover oil from the explosion washing up on their shores, they run for help. In come the booms and the cleanup rigs and the grownups with hoses and they are left feeling slightly helpless in the face of this disaster. When their favorite pelican dives into the oily water they enlist the workers at the bird sanctuary to help. Donning robes and gloves, they are given the chance to help clean up this one suffering creature and afterwards they are told he will make a full recovery. As they wander their beach looking at the clean sand, they realize that saving that ONE pelican was a tiny step towards a greater goal.
I love the message that this book sends and the encouragement it provides to kids who want to get involved and take action. It is written in easy to understand language without sounding too childish. It is a complicated topic for kids to grasp but I think the author does a good job at explaining it. It is recommended for ages 9 to 12. 
If you would like to learn more about this author, you can check out her website. 

Disclaimer: As per FTC guidelines, I received one copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I received no monetary compensation. All opinions expressed here are mine and mine alone

3 thoughts on “One Pelican at a Time: A Story of the Gulf Oil Spill”

  1. Thank you so very much for allowing me to be a part of your wonderful blog today. This, of all days, was the perfect time to be a part of such a green and caring blog.

    All best wishes to you!


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