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December 2012 / Bronx/​Riverdale Family / Brooklyn Family / Long Island Family / Manhattan Family / Queens Family / Staten Island Family / Columnists / The Book Worm

‘Luz Makes a Splash’

A book to get kids thinking

It’s easy to think that a kid’s tiny voice won’t make a difference in this big world. “Luz Makes a Splash” shows your child otherwise.

In the book, there’s a heat wave and Luz and her friend Anika go to the mall every day to cool off. But air conditioning is bad for the environment, so they decide to take a cool dip Spring Pond, but when they get to the natural body of water, they are sad to see that it is almost dry. They become even more upset when they learn that their local soda pop company is at fault — and they actually liked Top Cola!

Then, Luz sees Mr. DeSouza with a big pickle barrel. He’s taking it to the park to catch rainwater, although there hadn’t been rain for a long time. Luz asks Mr. DeSouza how wild plants withstood drought, and when he tells her that they survive with groundwater, she starts to think.

Using a fun, comic book style that lightens the tone, author Claudia Dávila illustrates the adventures of a girl who loves the environment, plenet, and her neighborhood. I like this book and what it stands for, but I especially like Dávila’s Luz: she’s sharp and resourceful as she 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 6 to 12 will learn a lot in any season. For them, “Luz Makes a Splash” might get a few ideas cooking.

“Luz Makes a Splash,” by Claudia Dávila [96 pages, 2012, $16.95].

Terri Schlichenmeyer has been reading since she was 3 years old, and she never goes anywhere without a book. She lives on a hill with two dogs and 12,000 books.

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