(for readers in grades Kindergarten–3rd Grade)
As we get ready for the summer months, Follow the Moon Home written by environmentalist Philippe Cousteau (grandson of famed oceanographer Jacques Cousteau) and Deborah Hopkinson is a hopeful read to share with your family. The story follows Viv, who had just moved to South Carolina with her mother. In discovering aspects her new home, she learns about the importance of protecting loggerhead turtles. Loggerhead turtles live all over the United States — we even have some in Long Island! Their eggs are laid in sand on the beach, and once the baby turtles hatch they have to quickly find their way to the ocean. At summer school, Viv learns the baby turtles follow the brightest light, which they recognize as the moon, to guide them to the sea. She notices the lights from vacation beach homes have misguided some baby turtles to go further inland with tragic results. Inspired to save the baby turtles, Viv becomes an activist with a plan and engages help from her community.
Illustrator Meilo So paints the pages in watercolor. Her use of saturated yellow and turquoise mirrors sun and sea and stand out against the rest of her muted beachy palate. Follow the Moon Home is a story that shows how one person can make a difference, and that a new girl in town can build a community in a new home.
As we enter summer months, more turtles will be leaving their nests. This story reminds us it is important to be a friend to nature.