Two intrepid librarians

Two intrepid librarians review the best nonfiction books for children

Friday, April 21, 2023

The Last Plastic Straw by Dee Romito; Illustrated by Ziyue Chen

The Last Plastic Straw: A Plastic Problem and Finding Ways to Fix It.
By Dee Romito; Illustrated by Ziyue Chen.
Books for Better Earth. Holiday House. 2023

This book focuses on the invention of the straw - from using a reed to plastic - and the environmental impact the plastic straw is having on our world. 

Straws were first invented by the Sumerians. They used a reed to sip their drinks. China used plant stalks, while in South America, to drink their tea, they used a silver or bronze “bombilla” with a filter on the end. In America, after World War II, to find a more positive use for plastic, the plastic draw was born.

Yet, straws, defined as single- use plastics, are not biodegradable. After breaking down into microplastics, they stay around forever. 

“Scientists have estimated that up to 8.3 billions plastic straws can be found on beaches around the world.” Fish, sea birds, turtles, whales ingest them, either by accident or thinking they are food. 

What can we do to be part of the solution to stop singe-use plastics? You’ll have to read the book to find out.

Romito’s informational picture book is a good addition to any STEM display. The scientific information is perfect for a read aloud in any STEM or Earth Day program. 

Chen’s illustrations, created using Procreate on an iPad, are colorful, and reflect was is being discussed in the text. 

An author’s note, sources, and resources to learn more about plastics is included. 

Click here to visit the Last Plastic Straw coalition.

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