Kid’s ideas prove to be well worth listening to

You thought you might roast to death. Yep, it was hot last summer.

Luz Makes a Splash by Claudia Dávila c.2012, Kids Can Press $16.95 U.S. and Canada 96 pages

You thought you might roast to death.

Yep, it was hot last summer. The hottest you could remember, and your Mom said the same thing. All you wanted to do was spend the day inside or in the pool, except that it was dry outside, too, which might’ve changed your pool-going.

You were sure you might roast.

But did you know that there are actions you can take to help your neighborhood when it’s hot and dry? Luz discovered a few things, and in the new book Luz Makes a Splash by Claudia Dávila, you’ll see what she learned.

Luz and her friend, Anika, were running out of options.

It was hot outside, and they’d been going to the mall to cool off. But since it was bad for the environment to use air conditioning all the time, the mall started having brownouts and the girls didn’t know what to do.

Maybe a dip in Spring Pond would help.

Luz, Anika, and their friend, Robert, headed to the pond but when they got there, they were saddened to see that it was almost dry! They were sadder when they learned that a local soda pop company was at fault. They actually liked Top Cola, but…

With the neighborhood adults looking into the pond disappearance, Luz went to find somewhere cool to sit. It wouldn’t be in Friendship Park, though. Water restrictions meant that the park and its gardens were drying up.

Then Luz saw Mr. DeSouza with a big pickle barrel. He was taking it to the park to catch rainwater but there hadn’t been rain for a long time. Luz asked Mr. DeSouza how wild plants withstood drought, and when he told her that they survived with groundwater, it made her think.

She saw that Junebug Café was throwing out dishwater, which seemed wasteful. Hmmm. When Gordo, a man in the neighborhood, told Luz about graywater, she got a really great idea…

If Junebug Café could bring its dish- and laundry water to the park, and if Mr. DeSouza could collect any rainwater that might fall, and if Luz could somehow figure out how to filter all this water, it might mean that the Friendship Park gardens could be saved! So could everybody work together and save the pond, too?

Sometimes, when you’re a kid, it’s easy to think that a tiny voice won’t make a difference in this big world. Luz Makes a Splash shows your child otherwise.

Using a comic-book style that’s fun, author Claudia Dávila tells the further adventures of a girl who loves to make the environment better for the planet and for her neighborhood. I like this book and what it stands for, but I especially like Dávila’s Luz: she’s sharp and resourceful, which subtly encourages kids to find their own solutions to environmental issues they might find locally.

Even though this book has a roasting in the summertime theme, I think kids ages six to 12 will learn a lot in any season. For them, Luz Makes a Splash might get a few ideas cooking.

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