Book: One Plastic Bag: Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia Author: Miranda Paul Illustrator: Elizabeth Zunon Publisher: Millbrook Press Date: 2015 Genre: children's; age 6-9; gr 1-4 Pages: 32 Price: $19.99 My rating: True story superbly told for children to understand its importance
One Plastic Bag: Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia was written by Miranda Paul after hearing about this success story and doing extensive research to get it just right.
This is a true story, simplified for the sake of the genre. However, even simplified it is a dramatic and very impressive story of change.
In 1970 Isatou is born in Gambia. She grows up seeing, and then using, plastic bags that seem to be more convenient to use than the handmade baskets she used for carrying things. The problem is the plastic bags, when no longer useful, do not degrade and mix back into the earth like the baskets. They become an unmanageable, unhealthy, dangerous accumulation of garbage in the village and surrounding villages. The plastic bags make it hard for the villagers’ gardens to produce, they strangle the animals necessary to households, and they cause disease. No one knows what to do with the bags once they are no longer useful.
One day Isatou gathers up some of the smelly bags and takes them home. She and some other women wash them and, while they are drying on the line, Isatou watches her sister crocheting. She asks her sister to teach her, and then Isatou comes up with an idea. Secretly, she and a few other women get busy evolving the old plastic bags into useful things – until their impact is noticed over a year later and cannot remain a secret.
One Plastic Bag is a story about how Isatou and her friends make a difference in the world through their recycling efforts. It’s a remarkable accomplishment with very positive environmental results.
Elizabeth Zunon illustrated One Plastic Bag by using her skill of collage. Her work is stunning.
Actual photos are included of the women in the story.
One Plastic Bag by Miranda Paul is a story that will help to bring awareness to young readers. One person CAN make a difference.
You can find One Plastic Bag on my BUY THE BOOK page.
Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! 🙂 ♥
I have heard of this story before and think it is wonderful. Great review!
Thanks, Darlene. Yes, it is an amazing story and a lovely book about it.