The Last Straw: Kids vs. Plastics

Harper. Feb. 2021. 48p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780062981394.
Gr 2-5–This nonfiction picture book combines poetry and facts to increase awareness of plastic consumption around the world. Each two-page spread contains a poem and informational text on topics such as the consumption of plastic, how it is affecting the environment, steps to reduce the use of plastic, or the latest scientific discoveries to combat plastic waste. Most notable is the focus on children and teens who are making a difference by cutting back on the use of plastic or finding ways to recycle plastic to aid their communities. The digital illustrations are whimsical and enjoyable even though they don’t really enhance the informational aspects of the text. Many children with different skin colors are also depicted in the illustrations. This would not be an ideal book for research, especially since there is no index. However, it is a fantastic resource for those who want to learn about the fight against plastic pollution. While the text may initially seem sparse on information, there are plenty of resources appended; a time line, a list of plastic alternatives, notes about the poetic styles used within the book, further reading, and websites and information for organizations working to reduce plastic usage are included.
VERDICT A useful book to include in poetry or social awareness units, this is a thorough resource on plastic consumption.

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