Today I am reviewing a book called Miss L'eau by T. Katz. This story is about two kids who are inspired by their teacher (and her unusual connection to the sea) to organize an Annual Clean-up event and hope to encourage kids everywhere to follow their lead of conservation and preservation.
James and David had always known there was something unusual about their elementary school teacher, Miss L'eau, but they could never quite put their finger on it. David discovered their first clue, was in her eyes-- Miss L'eau had the most unusual pair of eyes! She wore glasses when she taught, but when she had to deal with just you--she would lean over your desk, move her glasses down to the end of her nose . . . and there they were! Miss L'eau's eyes were as blue-green as the sea, and if you could get up the courage to stare right into them, you'd swear you could see angel fish, sea plants, coral beds and even sea anemones! It was the most wonderful, yet frightening, experience when she would talk to you face-to-face. The boys lived their whole lives near the ocean, but never thought about how important it was or how vulnerable it might be. Through Miss L'eau, and her unexpected relationship to the sea, they develop a love and understanding of the ocean and become involved with the nearby aquarium and organize an annual clean-up.
Miss L'eau is a great book that helps remind everyone how important the earth we live on, is. It always baffles me when we drive along dirt roads, or walk them, and see bottles and garbage in the woods. Who throws that out a window, honestly? Many times my mother and I have grabbed garage bags and cleaned up the mess on our walk. In college I was apart of clean up crews for a particular science class, to pick up garbage along a riverbank. In an Environmental Science class that I was involved in teaching, we made the students walk up and down both sides of the street near the school to pick up garbage. Several students were holding garbage bags and the rest of the students were filling them. If anything was learned from the experince, I hope the children were disgusted enough to realize that garbage has a place and it is not on the side of the road or on riverbanks.
Sometimes it is the small things we do that can make a big difference. It is not just our actions that we must think about, but the effect that our actions have on someone or something else. That is the point that Miss L'eau tries to make to her students as a teacher. She taught them about the environment and about animals and the sea. She wanted her students to care enough about something to want to do something about it, and they did. Some of Miss L'eau's beliefs was that the world shouldn't just focus on the big environmental problems that happen occassionally, but on the little ones that can effect our local areas everyday. It is a daily battle. T. Katz does a great job getting that point across and informing children that they can make a difference in the world, all they need is the desire to do it.
Even in our homes we can make a difference, using environmentally safe products instead of ones that can pollute the water, air or landfills. Granted, there are more expensive then the cheap brand, but if you shop at the right places, including on-line, you can get them for cheaper, that's what I do. Just cleaning up the roads or lakes near your home can make a difference. Recycling in our schools and in businesses and so on. No effort is too small. My boys and I every spring clean up the wooded lot across from our house. It took some time but it was worth the effort because we now have a view of beautiful green trees and berry bushes, instead of garbage.
In conclusion, I really enjoyed the story of Miss L'eau. The passion that T. Katz has for the sea and the mysteries in it, is apparent throughout the story. I like the fact that there was so much information to take away and use in our own lives, regardless if we live near an ocean or not. The moral of the story is, all life is important no matter how big or small, and everyone can make a difference in their communities to create a better world for all.
Miss L'eau is avalable at Amazon.com
It is rated for pre-teens.
It is catogorized as a fiction/fantasy.
It is cleanly written and is appropriate for pre-teens of all ages.
Priced at around $10.99
Was an easy read and can be finished in one sitting.
Has 58 pages.
Can be used in a classroom setting or in a homeschool setting to supplement a science curriculum when talking about oceans or the environment. Below is some related information that might be helpful. Check out author's website for more information and other activities. http://www.tkatz.com/
To organize your OWN clean-up, here are some suggestions to get you started by T. Katz:
Contact your local City Hall office and tell them about your clean-up plans. They can offer you all of the advice you need on how and where to work in your community and tell you if you need special permission or paperwork to get started.
--Call your local transportation (buses, highways)office and ask if you can borrow their safety vests for your volunteers to use during your event.
--Make sure to tell your neighborhood trash service about your plans -- they can arrange to pick-up your trash bags at the end of your event.
--For more information about how to organize your own clean-up and what you will need, visit authors website at http://www.missleau.com/Get_Involved.html she has lots of great information to help everyone with this endeavor.
WATERCONSERVATION / PRESERVATION