Captain Green and the Plastic Scene

This picturebook, by Galway author Evelyn Bookless, has a very clear message: our oceans and animals are in trouble and only we can fix this. Captain Green, an environmentally conscious caped crusader, helps to get a number of marine friends out of danger. He soon realises that there is a serious problem. The amount of plastic waste in our oceans and on our beaches is increasing. The number animal lives being endangered. It’s not enough to just keep clearing up the rubbish that washes onto the beach. Captain Green needs to get to the root of the problem. He teaches people to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

This light-hearted picturebook, on a topical subject, gets the message across without being overly preachy. The illustrations have a good balance, lively and colourful enough to appeal to children, while still demonstrating the gravity of the situation. The dolphin, seagull and turtle in peril evoke feelings of concern for animals. The enthusiastic response of Captain Green provides an opportunity to teach about empathy, caring for those more vulnerable than us and caring for the natural world.

Deeptown’s illustrations and Bookless’s words combine to present this serious message in a fun and energetic way. There is a wonderful use of colour to draw the reader’s eye to the focal point on each page. Young children will like that the adults listen to the young superhero. This book could provide an excellent accompaniment to older pre-school (3+ years) or early primary school projects.