Review Blog

Mar 14 2008

Chelonia Green, champion of turtles by Christobel Mattingly

cover image

Allen and Unwin, 2008
(Age 8+) This is a breathtaking account of the damage done to the environment by the users of the sea. Chelonia and her family live on an island off the coast of Queensland. Chelonia loves the turtles and sees them as her special friends, but is distraught when one of her favourites, Caretta, turns up dead on the sands. Chelonia and her father unwind the metres of fishing line wound around the turtle's head, and together they begin the arduous job of picking up the rubbish which litters the beaches.

Writing letters to the local yacht club, newspapers and government officials seems to have no response until on one weekend a number of people turn up to help clean up the beaches. A beautifully written story by the admirable Christobel Mattingley, who always writes convincingly about environmental issues, Chelonia Green is a salutary reminder of the damage done to our coastlines and to the animals which live along it. Chelonia Green will be enjoyed by a range of students from beginning readers to upper primary and would work really well, being read aloud.
Fran Knight

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