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  • 2017 Comstock Read Aloud Book Award

     

    Follow the Moon HomeFollow the Moon Home: A Tale of One Idea, Twenty Kids, and a Hundred Sea Turtles written by Philippe Cousteau and Deborah Hopkinson, illustrated by Meilo So, and published by Chronicle Books, 2016.

    Children ages eight to twelve especially enjoyed this nonfiction book about loggerhead turtles. Vivienne, who has just moved to a South Carolina barrier island, takes up the challenge of her summer school teacher to solve a community problem. She and her classmates entitle their project “Lights Out for Loggerheads,” as they inspire their whole town to shut off the lights along the beach so that hatching baby turtles head for the sea lit by the moon and the white caps of the waves, and not towards the man-made lights on shore.

    This story inspired young listeners. They showed intent attention, asked questions and made comments, shared the book with friends and family members, checked out the websites mentioned in the back matter, and watched YouTube videos to learn more about how the turtles hatched and found their way to the sea. Teachers noted that the book could inspire children to pursue a passion by volunteering in other environmental endeavors. Children also appreciated how the beautiful illustrations in watercolor, colored ink, and colored pencils supported the text and helped them to understand the subject matter. 

    Author Philippe Cousteau is a leader in the environmental movement to educate the public about nature and conservation. His family’s non-profit organization, EarthEcho International, has the goal of inspiring young people to change the world. Philippe Cousteau is the grandson of the famous explorer Jacques Cousteau, who taught him “to be curious, to ask questions, and to dream.” Cousteau and his wife live in Los Angeles, California. 

    Co-author Deborah Hopkinson is well known for her many children’s books about historical and scientific topics. In 2009, her book Abe Lincoln Crosses a Creek also won the Comstock Read Aloud Book Award. Ms. Hopkinson lives with her family near Portland, Oregon.

    Illustrator Meilo So has created the artwork for many children’s books about nature and animals. Originally from Hong Kong, she now lives with her family in the village of Cullivoe on the island of Yell, one of the Scottish Shetland Islands. Her studio called “Paradise” is a beautiful red shed in her garden where she is surrounded by nature and views of the sea. (CAROL HANSON SIBLEY)