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Monday, August 29, 2011

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

TITLE: One Pelican at a Time - A Story of the Gulf Oil Spill
SERIES: Bella and Britt Beach Series

AUTHOR: Nancy Stewart
ILLUSTRATOR: Samantha Bell
PUBLISHER: Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.
DATE OF PUBLICATION: February 1, 2011
FORMAT: Paperback, 26 pages
GENRE: Children's Picture Books
ISBN: 978-1616331399



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. Suggested age for readers: 7 to 12


I received this book for review from the author. I did not receive any compensation for my review, and the views expressed herein are my own.

If I was shopping at a book store, this is exactly the type of picture book that I would hope to find. I prefer something non-fiction, something of educational value, or something that models good character traits. This book fits all of my criteria!

The book teaches children about the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010 and explains how it affected the environment and wildlife. Geared for ages 7-12, the language was appropriate for my 9-year old daughter. My 3-year old also listened with interest to the story.

Bella and Britt, who are best friends, discover that the local pelican is covered in oil. They ask a nearby adult for help, who brings the pelican's plight to the attention of the workers in the area who are cleaning up the oil spill. After the bird is rescued and taken to the bird sanctuary, Bella and Britt help to gently clean the oil off of it.

Stewart stresses the importance of saving the environment and gives suggestions to her young readers that they can incorporate into their daily lives to help them be "a bit greener," such as: Turning off lights when they are not being used, not running the water when brushing teeth, and unplugging appliances when they are not in use. I loved that the author included these suggestions because it shows children that even they can make a difference! 

Stewart also includes child-friendly website links for readers to visit to learn more about oil spills.

The illustrations by Bell are colourful, lovely, and appealing to the reader. I love that the best friends, Bella and Britt, are depicted as racially different. This teaches an unspoken lesson about the diversity of our population and acceptance of others who may look different from ourselves.

My 9-year old is a nature-lover and favours non-fiction books, specifically anything that has to do with wildlife. She absolutely adored this book and read it the moment it arrived as soon as she saw the cover.

There are currently two other books in this series: Bella Saves the Beach and Sea Turtle Summer. You can read more about these books at the author's website. I know my nature-loving kids will want to read these as well!

MY RATING: 5 stars!! I loved it, and so did my kids!! Thank you, Nancy!


  1. Sounds like a fantastic children's book!

    Tia @ Falling For Books

  2. One of the best parts of reviewing books is the opportunity to read picture books again. This one looks lovely.

  3. This looks like a great book for kids and parents to share. I love these kind of books too and agree with your review. Happy to hear your daughter enjoys this type of story. I will check out the other two as well.

  4. Sounds like a wonderful book and one I shall be buying for my grandaughter.

  5. Thank you very much, Darlene, for the lovely review. I am blushing but feel so gratified that you and especially your children enjoyed Pelican.

    This topic is so personal to me. It was my mission to help others understand the concept of planet sharing and stewardship of our earth, particularly with the next generation, where all hope lies. I want to thank you for spreading that message in your review.

    All best wishes to you.

  6. This sounds like a great kids book. Fabulous review!

    Also, I’m a new follower—wonderful blog! Stop by my blog and follow me too? :)


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