Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday-February 4, 2015

My Friend Alyson Beecher at Kid Lit Frenzy hosts weekly link up to share Nonfiction Picture Books. Please visit her amazing website.

by Miranda Paul
Illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon
Published February 1, 2015 by Millbrook Press
32 Pages
Digital copy obtained through Netgalley

Goodreads Summary
Plastic bags are cheap and easy to use. But what happens when a bag breaks or is no longer needed? In Njau, Gambia, people simply dropped the bags and went on their way. One plastic bag became two. Then ten. Then a hundred.

The bags accumulated in ugly heaps alongside roads. Water pooled in them, bringing mosquitoes and disease. Some bags were burned, leaving behind a terrible smell. Some were buried, but they strangled gardens. They killed livestock that tried to eat them. Something had to change.

Isatou Ceesay was that change. She found a way to recycle the bags and transform her community. This inspirational true story shows how one person's actions really can make a difference in our world.

My Thoughts
I was captivated by this story. It is a great example for children about the power one person's choices can have. Ceesay saw a problem and instead of ignoring it, decided to do something about it. 
The book starts with Ceesay as a young girl who notices a discarded plastic bag blowing across the ground. She uses it to hold her fruit after the basket she is carrying breaks. As she grows up, the plastic bag problem multiplies. Miranda Paul does an excellent job using present tense narration to show Ceesay's process of dealing with the hug piles of bags, washing them and figuring out how to recycle them. The women finally try cutting the bags into strips and crochet them together to make purses to sell which benefits the whole community. 
I would recommend One Plastic Bag for grades all elementary grades. 

Click here to read some scary statistics about plastic bags. 

Watch the Book Trailer

Isatou Ceesay shows how to crochet plastic bags into purses. 


  1. I really want to read this title. It is going on my wish list! Thanks for the great review. I know my students will be so intrigued and inspired.

  2. This is going onto my wish list too. (Which means it will probably be at my house within a week because I have absolutely no self-control when it comes to my wish list!)

  3. I just pinned this in my Pinterest board - would definitely try to order this as well for my higher degree course! :)

  4. Hmmm, this could be a good book to start a passion project! Thanks for talking about it :)